By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
As the 2012 high school football season gets set to kick off, Friday’s match up between North Laurel and Pineville looks, on paper anyway, to be one of the no-doubters for this week.
According the the most recent roster on the KHSAA website, Pineville has just 16 players on the team this season.
Chris Larkey’s squad breezed past the Mountain Lions last season 45-6, en route to winning three of the first four games of the season before losing the final six to finish 3-7 on the year.
If you think Larkey is looking past Pineville, don’t bet on it.
“Pineville has a really good team this year,” Larkey said. “They have all of their skill players back from last season and that has us worried to death as a coaching staff.
“They can throw the ball really well and they have kids that can catch the ball,” he added. “They’re going to have 11 kids on the field that are going to play you hard until the end and when you have kids that are willing to do that, it can really go either way.”
Offensively, the two teams weren’t too far apart in 2011 with Pineville averaging 18 points per game, while the Jaguars scored at a rate of 23.3 ppg. On defense, North Laurel allowed 25.7 ppg and the Mountain Lions gave up 34.6 ppg.
Despite the fact it looks like a David vs. Goliath contest in the sense of a 5A school playing a 1A school, Larkey said things have a way of evening out when the game starts.
“I don’t care if they are a 1A school, they put the same amount of kids on the field during a game as we do,” he said. “You have to go out there and compete against their best 11 with your best 11 and see who the better team is, no matter how many kids you bring with you.
“Like I said, they’ve probably got more skill players on the field than we do, and they have a slot receiver who is bigger than any kid that we’ve got,” he added.
In the end, Larkey said the keys to victory will be obvious ones to him. Whether his team will manage to achieve them is another story.
“The best way to stop them is to keep the offense off the field,” Larkey said. “If we can keep the ball and not turn it over, we should be alright.
“We have to play well on offense and on defense, we have to get to the ball quickly and make tackles,” he added. “It’s going to be a battle, that’s for sure, and we aren’t about to look past them.”
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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