By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
Coach Jim Black and his Whitley County Colonels have are still searching for their first win of the year, and that could come this Friday when they play host to district rival Letcher Central.
It’s been a season unlike any other for the Colonels, who have seen a tremendous amount of injuries throughout the year. With several players out on both sides of the ball, Black has had to rely on fresh faces to step up and play each week, which has made it difficult to stay consistent over the past eight games.
“In all my years of football, as a player and as a coach, I have not seen anything like what we have experienced this season,” said Black. “I have never seen this many legitimate injuries on one football team. It makes it really hard to prepare. It’s been a tough season.”
Despite their difficulties this season, all hope is not lost for the Colonels. Playing in a four-team district, Whitley County is assured a playoff spot, and as Black knows, once the playoffs begin anything can happen.
“Yeah, we will be in the playoffs and we want to be able to finish these next couple of games strong to carry that momentum into the playoffs,” said Black. “We’ll play either Pulaski or Madison Southern and there isn’t much difference between those teams. We just have to keep doing the things that we do and keep getting better at that.”
This Friday’s matchup against the Cougars of Letcher Central will contrast completely different teams. While the Colonels feature a ground oriented attack, the Cougars will bring a spread offense that features the run, but also the ability to throw the football.
“It seems like they’ve been running the football a little more lately. If you look at their earlier games this year, they threw the football around more. Now, they’re running it,” said Black. “We’re going to try to force them to throw the ball. We think that gives us the best chance to win.”
The Colonels will back to their old ways this Friday, featuring their triple option attack that has grown so familiar under Black’s time as the Whitley County coach.
“We’ve had to get away from the option a little bit because we had some kids out, but we’re going to get back to that more this week,” said Black. “We’ve got to get more comfortable with running it. I think we can be successful with it once our kids get comfortable running it.”
Along with the option attack comes the responsibility of taking care of the football on offense, which has been a problem for the Colonels all year.
“That’s’ going to be continue to be a focal point, but we have to continue to get better in other aspects of the game, too,” said Black. “We have to put together a complete game if we are going to win. But taking care of the football is still a concern and something we have to do a better job at.”
No matter what happens this week, the Colonels will continue to work hard and look forward to the playoffs.
“We’re getting close to the end of the season. We want to continue to improve,” Black said. “We want to finish the season strong.”
Whitley County still searching for first win of the season
By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
- 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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