By John Stepp for The Times-Tribune
With a bounce of the ball in another direction, the Corbin Redhounds football team could have had a much different season in 2011, but comprised a record of 7-5, eventually losing to Louisville Central in the second round of the playoffs.
The Redhounds look to get things going in their favor early in the upcoming season, but Steve Jewell’s squad knows it’s not going to be easy. Playing in one of the most difficult districts and regions in Class 3A, Corbin has their work cut out for them in 2012.
“I do feel like we are playing in one of the toughest regions, and, this year, one of the toughest districts in the state with Bell and Wayne County,” said Jewell. “We were lucky to get out of Wayne County alive last year, but with a couple different plays, we were right in the Bell County game. The good thing for us is that we have both of those teams at home this season, instead of two away games like last year.”
Even though a five-loss season is not what Jewell and his boys are accustomed to, or even happy with, the Redhounds are looking to use their close losses from last season as motivation for this year. With several returning players from the 2011 team, Corbin looks to put a bigger, stronger and faster team on the field in 2012.
“We’re working out 58 to 60 kids every day. Right now, the big thing is getting the kids caught up to speed with conditioning, and working toward putting the gear on in about 10 days,” said Jewell. “We have several kids who have added some weight and some strength, but we need that to translate to the field. At times, we weren’t physically ready to play last season, but I feel like our kids have put more time in and look much better than they did.”
The Redhounds will have plenty of experience on the field from a year ago. Despite losing leading rusher Brady Foley to graduation, Corbin will have some nice pieces to work with on offense. Matt Jewell and Jake Coppock both return in the backfield, while top wide receiver Josh Jewell is back, after hauling in 68 passes just a year ago.
“I feel like we have a good backfield coming back, and we have some decent speed on offense. We really don’t have any flashy guys, but we have good, strong kids,” said Jewell. “We’ll also bring back not an extremely large line, but a quicker line. Right now, we’re just trying to figure out the right personnel to put on the field, and see who fits where.”
As the season approaches, Jewell said his team will continue to work hard toward getting ready for the season, but he is pleased with the progress they have made thus far.
“I’m real pleased with the kids and their work ethics. They’re really pushing each other hard,” said Jewell. “We’ve changed our practices up a little. Everything we’ve been doing is a competition at practice. We’re competing against each other, and trying to make each other better. We want the kids to know that every play is a competition, and they have to do their best every play.”
The Redhounds will open the season on Aug. 17th, playing host to George Rogers Clark.
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