By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
BARBOURVILLE — With the start of the high school football season just two weeks away, teams are getting antsy as schools start back and players begin falling into normal routines.
The 2013 Forcht Bank/Legacy Nissan Pioneer Bowl will take place on Friday, Aug. 23. Lynn Camp will face Powell County, Tenn. at 6 p.m., while Knox Central will battle Atherton in the nightcap. The Pioneer Bowl is an annual bowl game that is hosted on a rotating basis by Knox Central and Lynn Camp.
Three of the four teams competing in Pioneer Bowl were on hand for a press conference this week to give the coaches a chance to get to know each other and members of the media an opportunity to learn more about the teams involved.
The Knox Central Panthers are the host team this year and the matchups are expected to provide some quality football to fans in the Tri-County. Knox Central Athletics Director Jeff Canady said he would do his best to be a good host of the event, but jokingly admitted he couldn’t say the same for the Panthers once they’re on the field.
“We try to take care of our teams that come in and try to be a good host outside of the football field,” Canady said. “We may not be the best host once we get on the field, but we’ll do our best to make it a great experience for everyone involved.”
Lynn Camp (3-8 in 2012) and Powell County (2-10) will get things started at 6 p.m. Despite their record, Powell County made the Class 3A playoffs last season, but was eliminated in the first round after a 48-21 loss to Mason County.
Wildcats’ head coach Phil Russell said no matter what team you’re facing, the first game of the season is an important one and he hopes to get the season started on a positive note in the form of a win.
“Powell County is a belly team and their coach comes from an option background,” Phil Russell said. “They’re going to line up and try to run it at us, so hopefully we can get the job done when it comes to slowing them down.
“I’ve found out that it’s a lot more fun to coach a football team that is 1-0 as opposed to 0-1, so hopefully we can come out on top and get the season started on a good note,” he added.
The second game of the night pits a Knox Central (10-2) team that started 2012 with eight straight wins and is coming off one of the best seasons in the program’s history, against a team from Atherton (1-9) that won just one game last year.
Atherton head coach Kenneth Walker said he’d be bringing in one of the largest groups of seniors he’s ever had and admitted that he’s excited about getting to play in the area so that his team can experience mountain football.
“We’re just happy that we get to start the season against a team in our class (4A), because we usually start against a 5A or 6A team,” Walker said. “I know Knox Central is a great team and we’re going to have our work cut out if we want to win.
“Hopefully we can come down here and enjoy atmosphere of the game and let our kids get a taste of what mountain football is all about,” he added.
Knox Central head coach Scott Russell said he’s also excited to get the season started and he feels like his team is ready to go.
“We want to get the season going because we have big expectations,” Scott Russell said. “Hopefully we can start strong and not live off what we did last season and the rest of the season will go well also.”
Knox Central hosts 2013 Pioneer Bowl press conference
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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