TIMES TRIBUNE (CORBIN, Ky.)
By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
Just when Whitley County Colonel fans thought they were about to see a light at the end of the tunnel this season, things took a turn for the worse for Jim Black's squad – again.
A pair of season opening losses, coupled with the loss of the team's top returning ball carrier from a year ago in Zack Mills, seemed to be holding the team back as it tried to gain some steam this season.
If that wasn't bad enough, Mills' replacement in the backfield, Austin Hooper, went down with a broken ankle during last week's loss to Bell County and will miss the remainder of his senior season.
As he gets set to face Rockcastle County this week, Black admitted that in all his years of coaching high school football that he's never been faced with the kind of injury problems he's already facing just three weeks into the season.
While this week's game against the Rockets may be just what the doctor ordered for the Colonels, Black said he isn't buying in to that for a second.
“I don't really feel good about anything right now the way things have went for us,” Black said. “This is the kind of situation I've never been in as a coach.
“Don't get me wrong, I feel really good about how the kids played and I think if we don't lose (Austin) Hooper, we probably win that game against Bell County,” he added. “We didn't execute though in the second half, which is a big concern for me, as well as the injuries that we've faced.”
The good news for the Colonels is after losses of 29 and 42 points, they were able to establish a rhythm of sorts on the offensive side of the football. The bad news is that rhythm will most likely be interrupted by having to switch some personnel around until Mills can return in two, or possibly three weeks.
The Colonels moved Luke Woods to quarterback when Hooper went down against Bell County, giving Austin Ysidro a chance to run the football out of the backfield for much of the game. While that's the most likely option against Rockcastle County this week, Black wouldn't commit to that situation just yet.
“We'll have to do some things different as far as replacing the guys we've lost, but I'm not 100 percent sure of what those switches will be yet,” Black said.