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
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