For the second time this season, I had to listen to Williamsburg Football Coach Jerry Herron, Jr. talk about an ugly loss suffered by his team.
As Herron pointed out back on August 27 when the Yellow Jackets lost 60-28 at Middlesboro, “This ain’t our first butt-kicking!”
Fast forward to Friday night at Finley Legion Field where the Sayre Spartans pounded the Jackets, 35-17. The Spartans are led by former Marshall University great and NFL quarterback Chad Pennington, and are quarterbacked by Pennington’s son, Cole.
Cole Pennington threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns, while running for another.
“We got humbled tonight,” Herron said.
While Herron is always upfront about his team’s performance, I give him credit because he doesn’t lay it all on the players.
Yes, he called them out for being more concerned about their statistics, which are normally readily available on the Kentucky High School Athletic Association website.
Herron noted that he had not been posting the stats after week one because he had seen the players focusing on it, but emphasized that they are kids and that is to be expected.
Herron repeatedly said that he and his coaching staff were to blame for not having the team better prepared.
In interviewing multiple coaches in multiple sports over more than 20 years, I have heard teams constantly referred to as, “we.” However, I don’t recall another instance where a coach has named himself and his staff as part of the reason for a loss.
Herron said the Yellow Jackets will get this fixed. Barring that, he said the team that had such high hopes early in the season would not be around later in the playoffs to face the likes of Russellville, Pikeville, Kentucky Country Day, Raceland or Sayre, who are the five best Class A teams in the state based on RPI.
Herron said when he asked his players to name the best teammate, most of the players named sophomore Trevor Neace.
The coach explained that while the sophomore is just over five feet tall and will not play, he brings a great attitude to every practice and is constantly trying to pick up his teammates during the game instead of sitting down at the other end of the bench away from the rest of the team.
“We have got to grow up a little bit,” Herron said.
The Jackets begin district play Friday night with the bi-annual trip to Harlan. The Green Dragons come into the game with a record of 2-4.
On September 24, Harlan traveled to Lexington to face Sayre and lost, 42-0.
On September 17, the Green Dragons hosted Middlesboro, losing, 44-6.
Sayre used its running game against Harlan Independent, with five different players running for a combined 186 yards and four touchdowns.
Cole Pennington threw for two more.
Middlesboro running back Caleb Bogonko, who shredded the Williamsburg defense for more than 330 yards, put up 114 yards on seven carries against Harlan.
As a team, Middlesboro ran for 269 yards and three touchdowns against the Green Dragon defense.
In the game against Somerset, Herron showed that Williamsburg can and will commit to the running game if the circumstances dictate.
Harlan appears ripe for a heavy dose of Sydney Bowen, Jayden Rainwater and Marty Gilley. Maybe even give them a taste of Jacket pride by calling Trevor Neace’s number one time.
- Last week we ran a photo of Gary Barton’s trophy elk kill. If anyone else local bags a trophy animal, or a child gets a first deer, please email pictures and information to DManning@corbinnewsjournal.com
While we can’t guarantee when the photo will run, we will run it as space in the sport section permits.
This also goes for a trophy fish caught by someone local, or a child’s first catch.