Before I write anything else, I want to wish the Corbin High School football team the best of luck Friday night in their quest to win a sixth state championship. They will be taking on Central High School (Louisville) at 7:00 p.m. The game will be played at Kroger Field in Lexington.
Should be a great game.
• We are all pretty familiar with Corbin’s history and impressive athletic and academic accomplishments.
I think it’s also interesting to get to know the opponent.
Central is actually, officially, called “Central High School Magnet Career Academy.” It has a rich history.
The school was founded in 1870 when black residents in Louisville appealed to the Board of Education to provide a free education for their children. School system leaders complied, and agreed to open two buildings that year dedicating to educating “children of the African race” from taxes collected from the black community.
From the beginning, it provided a high level education. Along with core classes, courses in subjects like rhetoric, philosophy, trigonometry and botany were offered.
Before integration in Kentucky, the school excelled athletically and won many championships in football and basketball, even though it didn’t have a gymnasium or field for the first 30 years of its existence.
From the school’s website: “This school started with virtually nothing and now has partnerships and relationships with the University of Louisville School of Law, Medicine, Business, and Dentistry; the Louisville Bar Association; Morehead State University School of Veterinary Science, Spalding University School of Nursing, Kort Rehab, Norton’s Hospital, JCTC, Papa John’s Pizza, Fifth Third Bank, Speedway Stores, Argo Networks and a host of many others.”
Oh, and they’ve won 5 Class 3A state titles since 2007
• Local realtor Dan Rawlings was a starting running back on the last Corbin Redhound team to win a state championship in 1982. They defeated Glasgow 18-6 at the old Cardinal Stadium at the Louisville Fairgrounds.
Rawlings tells a comical, and quite interesting, story about the game. He said it was one of the worst games he ever played for Corbin because he “wore the wrong shoes” and could not get his footing on the notoriously bad Astroturf at the stadium.
“I could hardly even stand up. If anyone barely hit me, I’d fall on my butt!”
He also noted that “the carpet” was not plush and soft, like you might imagine, but rather “like playing on concrete.”
“If you got tackled, it hurt when you hit the ground. Everyone complained about it,” he said. “It was pretty bad. I hated that place. It was a dump. I’d give anything to play in Lexington like they do now.”
Nevertheless, the Hounds were victorious. If you want to hear the whole story, just ask him about it Friday. Rawlings will be attending the state title game in Lexington, along with the rest of the town.
• The irony of Corbin’s current coaching situation never ceases to amaze me. I was covering the state title game in 2002 where Breathitt County annihilated the Redhounds 52-0 thanks to the strong, very accurate arm of quarterback Justin Haddix. Now, he’s leading Corbin to their second straight title game as head coach, and lives amongst us, right here in the town whose hopes and dreams he so brutally destroyed … as a hero!
I’ve always said Corbin is a very accepting and inviting community to move to as an outsider. It’s been my own personal experience. Haddix just proves it all the more.
And so it goes.