By Chris Parsons / Sports Editor
Every high school football team sets a goal of playing for a state championship when the season gets underway and the Corbin Redhounds were no different in 2013.
Although Steve Jewell’s squad fell short of that goal after a 36-0 loss to Wayne County last week, he said the loss will not take away from what the Redhounds accomplished this season.
“Obviously it’s tough to digest right now with the loss, but we did some good things this season as a team,” Jewell said. “We ended up with a good record and we played some quality football, but hopefully the kids are not content with where we finished.
“After we sit back and look at the season there will be some positive things we can build from and some things we can carry into next season,” he added. “We’ve still got a lot of things we can correct and we have to learn from our mistakes this season. Those mistakes can still be turned into a positive thing if we learn from them and that’s what we’ll try to do.”
A 5-0 start that eventually led to a 9-3 record, including wins over longtime rivals Danville, South Laurel and Knox Central, put the Redhounds in contention for district and region titles early in the season.
On the outside looking in the good news for the Redhounds may be the fact that the cupboard isn’t bare when considering what Jewell will have returning talent-wise next season. A large class of juniors that has had past success, having won back-to-back state championships at the middle school level, will be looked to as far as leadership in 2014.
The bad news, according to Jewell, is the fact that past success doesn’t always lead to success at the high school level as he was quick to point out the fact that once the talent-level evens out, it comes down to several other factors when all is said and done.
“We can hope to build on past results, but a lot of people don’t realize that success at younger levels doesn’t always translate as those kids progress,” Jewell said. “It’s a maturity thing and a strength thing and that was obvious the other night in the loss to Wayne County.
“Hopefully our kids will be able to move a step above where we are now with our weight program in the offseason,” he added. “In addition, we‘ll try to move ahead as far as maturity and other important areas as well, which would put us in the category with teams like Wayne County.”
As he looks back on this year’s group of departing seniors, Jewell said one of the biggest things that will stick with him is their ability to recover from what was a disappointing season in 2012.
“This group battled back and recovered nicely from a rough season in 2012,” Jewell said. “That was the first time we’ve had a losing record in 14 season, so to come back and have a season like we’ve had speaks volumes for that group.”
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