By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
KNOX CENTRAL — Scottie Russell’s Knox Central Panthers got off to the best start in the program’s history last season with an eight-game win streak before falling to Russell County in a game that decided the district championship.
The Panthers eventually finished with the best record in school history (10-2) after a 35-6 loss to Lexington Catholic ended hopes of a state title run in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Last year’s over and with practice officially underway, the Panthers are getting ready to embark on the 2013 season. With that in mind Russell said this time of year is one of his favorites because of the potential surprises as well as the fact it’s almost time to play football.
“We’re tickled to death that it’s finally here and I think everybody is ready to go,” Russell said. “I enjoy getting things started because you get to look at the kids and see how they’ve grown up throughout the offseason.
“Kids can really change over the course of a calendar year, so it’s a lot of fun to get them in here and see how things are going for them and talk football,” he added. “We look forward to the season and this is the time to get in and get to work.”
A lot has changed since the last game of the 2012 season and the biggest difference when it comes to Knox Central is the departure of some key seniors, including the graduation of Jeffrey Canady, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards last season before signing to play college football at Eastern Kentucky University. Even though Canady is gone, the cupboard isn’t exactly bare for Russell as far as offense goes with the return of Jonathan Gist in the backfield.
Given the level of success his team experienced last year, Russell said if any pressure is to be put on this year’s Panthers, the majority of it would most likely come internally.
“Our guys put more pressure on themselves than anybody else because they want to win and have that reputation,” Russell said. “They want to come in and do better than the team before them and that’s what you want as a coach each and every year.
“As coaches that makes us happy to see that the kids are hungry and they really want to be remembered as one of the best teams to come through Knox Central,” he added.
If there is any difference in this year’s team compared to last year’s squad or teams in the past, Russell said the fact that the team is made up of a lot of juniors is one of the first things that jump out at him, but the biggest difference will be the need to play as an entire team.
“This year we don’t have a lot of seniors, so we’re really junior-dominated,” Russell said. “The good news is that this group of juniors has played a lot of football, so they’ve been around the program for a while.
“The other thing is that there’s really not a superstar, so the kids will have to play together,” he added. “I feel like this will be one of our more team-oriented teams, so we’re excited about that and we’ll to take on that mindset starting this week.”
Panthers look to maintain momentum from last year's run
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
Second Time Around
When all is said and done after the 2014 high school soccer season, a lot of teams will measure their success by wins and losses.
THE WAY IT IS: The times, they are a changing
The times, they are a changing — especially in the Tri-County high school sports scene.
The Tri-County Sports Authority youth football league, which usually fields in the neighborhood of 200 players, is about to get a little more crowded this season.
THE WAY IT IS: Football is in the air in the Tri-County
These cool summer days are reminding me of the cool football Friday nights of September and October, and with that said, these cooler temperatures have me in the mood of writing about things to come for our local football teams in the Tri-County.
It’s never too early to talk about what games will be the big ones for the Tri-County high school football fans to watch this upcoming season. I’ve tried to narrow my list down to 10 games, but honestly, it really wasn’t easy to do — but I did manage to do it.
Let’s just say things should be very entertaining, and interesting, for you the fan this season.
Corbin names Philpot head baseball coach
With just a little over two weeks passed since Rob Ledington announced his resignation as head coach of the Corbin Redhounds’ baseball team, Corbin School officials announced their choice his replacement.
So Far, So Good: North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey pleased with the way his team is looking
By Les Dixon
NORTH LAUREL — Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguar football team is coming off one of its best seasons in program history with hopes of continuing its winning ways this fall.
The Next Step: Jerry Herron's Williamsburg Yellow Jackets have high hopes of winning a state title
By Chris Parsons
WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets came one win away from bringing home the program’s first ever state championship last season, but a 42-0 loss to Mayfield meant a state title wasn’t in the cards.
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