One of the Mountains top rivalries resumes tomorrow night between #10 Pikeville and #3 Belfry. We look back on the series between the Panthers and the Pirates.
The Rivalry between Pikeville and Belfry is a storied one. Both schools began playing in 1949 and Friday Night's matchup will be the 52nd in the series.
Belfry yields a record of 30-18-3, winning ten straight over the Panthers.
Coach Philip Haywood says his team can't take Pikeville lightly.
“They're a good football team,” Haywood says. “They're undefeated. They've got excellent quickness on defense. We think they run to the ball really well and I don't know if we've played a defense quite like theirs as far as quickness goes.”
The Panthers are 4-0 for the first time since 2000. Ironically, the last time they beat Belfry? 2000 with a 31-14 victory.
It was 1999 the last time The Panthers went on the road and beat the Pirates.
Coach Chris McNamee, who was the coach during those wins, wants the streak to end for his kids.
“Sometimes we've been way overmatched, sometimes we've come a little bit close, and just fell short,” McNamee says. “But it's a good rivalry I think for both schools. They’ve got a class program and we have lot of respect for them.”
The Panthers have an experienced Quarterback in Randy Maynard. He was only in first grade the last time his team beat Belfry so he wants to win this one for the players before him who could not while in Maroon.
“My brother went through the system and he never beat them,” Maynard says. “And that's what he talked about all the time it that's one regret he's always had, is not being able to finish off against Belfry. It'd just be huge for everybody here.”
The Pirates know keeping the streak alive is important. But they will not change how they prepare for this game against the in-county rivals
“It's always big beating Pikeville,” Keegan Fields says. “We've been big rivals for forever here. It would just mean a lot to go over there and give them their first loss.”
When these two teams meet on the field, it's not just for pride. It’s for the passion of keeping this storied rivalry alive for many years to come.