TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
By John Stepp For The Times Tribune
The Whitley County Colonels picked up their first win of the season last Friday as they beat district rival Letcher County Colonels, putting them in a three-way tie for second seed in their district. The outcome of the tie-breaker won’t be officially decided until after tonight when the Colonels take on the Class 4A perennial power Boyle County Rebels.
The Rebels have the reputation as being one of the top teams in the state of Kentucky year-in and year-out. While the Colonels will have their hands full this week, the game means nothing when it comes to the playoffs, which is what Jim Black’s squad is focused on.
“We will focus on our game against Boyle County this Friday, but our main focus is on the playoffs next week,” said Black. “We don’t really know who we will be playing so it’s hard for us to really prepare but that is the most important game for us.”
Whitley County will either end up as the third or fourth seed in their district, which will pit them against either Pulaski County or Madison Souther, both teams who are in the top 10 in the state in Class 5A.
While the Colonels have compiled a record of 1-8 in 2013, their season has not been as bad as it has seemed. Whitley County has played several close games before letting them slip away in the end. With a win under their belts, Black said his team is working just a little harder to get ready for this week.
“I can see a little more confidence in them. They seem to have a little more attention to them and working a little harder,” Black said. “We’re going to prepare this week like we prepare every week and try to go out and get this win against Boyle County.”
With a triple option attack that features sophomore running back Zach Mills and senior Austin Ysidro, the Colonels philosophy is to take what the defense gives them and take care of the football. But, taking care of the football has been a thorn in the Colonels’ side all year long.
“We stress that every week. It is not our only focus, but we do need to work on taking care of the football. No team in the state can turn the football over and win games,” said Black. “If we’re going to give ourselves the chance to win any game, it starts with keeping the ball off the ground.”
With two of their toughest games all year ahead of them, the Colonels are going to keep focusing on what they’ve done all year. Black said he wants all of his boys to play hard, play fast, and play fun, and as long as they do that, the game will take care of itself.
“We’re not going to do anything special for these teams. We’re going to do the things we have done all year. We’re going to work on the things we’ve been coached to do and go from there,” said Black. “We tell our kids every week to go out there and give it all they got, play fast, and to have fun. That’s what it’s about.”