In just a few days, high school football across Kentucky will take a big step forward as the players put on the pads and the hitting begins.
We are now under a month until the season kicks off with the first games scheduled for Friday, Aug. 20.
Whitley County will travel to Perry County Central for Coach Zeke Eier’s first game as head coach, looking to turn things around for a program that won two games last year.
Over at Lynn Camp, new Coach Mark Huddleston will also be looking to get the Wildcats back on the winning track after taking over for Allen Harris.
The measuring stick many of the Lynn Camp faithful will use is 20 miles long, straight to Finley Legion Field home of the district rival Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.
The last time the Wildcats played a competitive game against Williamsburg was a 26-12 loss in 2009.
Huddleston’s players may remember it as they were likely attending Lynn Camp Elementary at the time.
If you go looking for the last time Lynn Camp beat Williamsburg, you have to go all the way back to 2005 when some of those players had yet to be born.
With the squad Coach Jerry Herron, Jr. has returning from a team that reached the Class A final Four in 2020, it will take something special for Huddleston to end that losing streak, but it would be a big step forward if the Wildcats could hang with the Jackets and avoid the running clock.
The great thing about Class A football is that one class, or even a few players, of the right caliber can propel last year’s doormat into this year’s powerhouse.
Like with the other classes, count on the usual suspects until they show that they are in for a down year.
Defending Class A Champion Paintsville, along with Hazard, Raceland, Williamsburg, and, after the last few seasons, Kentucky Country Day will immediately begin the conversation.
But teams such as Newport Central Catholic, Pikeville, Frankfort, Paris and Berea have all been at, or near the top before.
But if the stars align, maybe we are talking Lynn Camp, Eminence, Ludlow, Dayton, or, dare I say, Fulton County? Stranger things have happened in the world of sports.
What do you say about Corbin?
Barring any offseason transfers, Coach Tom Greer should have a starting lineup and deep bench loaded with seniors and juniors who were juniors and sophomores on the 2020 team that reached the Class 4A Elite Eight.
The Redhounds went 8-2 on the season, including 5-0 in the district.
The two losses were the opener against Beechwood and the final game at Johnson Central. Two programs with a lot of hardware in their football trophy cases.
Barring disaster on an epic scale, Corbin will be Corbin.
With Coach Greer at the helm, any pending disaster will be nipped in the bud, meaning Corbin is set up for another run to December football.
While football will be the talk of the area and the state, the other fall sports are gearing up as well.
Volleyball, soccer, cross country and golf each opened practice on July 15.
Soccer season for both the boys and girls is scheduled to open on Aug. 9.
Volleyball season opens on Aug. 16.
Cross country and golf will also begin in August.
As the world gets back to semi-normal following from the COVID–19 pandemic, hopefully high school sports will be as well.
Whether you pull for Corbin, Lynn Camp, Whitley County, Williamsburg, or some combination depending on the sport, get out there and cheer our kids on.
In an era where there is little to like about professional sports, the Hounds, Cats, Colonels and Jackets still offer hope of great things at the start of each season.
Make sure they know the community is behind them!