TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Sports Editorials

September 10, 2012

Which team should be hitting the panic button?

CORBIN — We are four weeks into the high school football season and we’ve had some surprises, disappointments and some ups and downs, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

Heck, most teams haven’t even played a district game yet, but with that said, some of our Tri-County high school teams might need to hit the panic button here soon if things don’t change.

Corbin Redhounds (1-3) — The Redhounds are two games under .500 while garnering three losses so far. It isn’t like Corbin has been blown out. Heck, each loss has came by seven points against some very good teams.

A lot of people want to hit the panic button after seeing Corbin off to a 1-3 record, but hold on a minute. The Redhounds are in must-win mode Friday against South Laurel and should get the win. If Corbin loses Friday, then I would worry.

But it’s another set of Cardinals Corbin faithful needs to be concerned about — the Wayne County Cardinals. Shawn Thompson’s Wayne County squad is off to its best start in a long time at 4-0 and is coming off consecutive wins over Class 5A schools North Laurel (27-7) and Madison Southern (22-21).

Why is the Wayne County game so important?

First off, it’s a district game. Second off, you don’t want to begin district play with a loss, especially since the Redhounds still have a district game looming against defending district champion Bell County. Neither Bell County, Corbin or Wayne County wants to get the No. 3 seed in district play and hit the road in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.

Knox Central (4-0) — If you’re a Knox Central fan, you’ve got to be happy with the way things are going right now. The Panthers are off to their first 4-0 start in school history, according to coach Scottie Russell and they have a good chance to be 5-0 heading into next week’s home contest against Harlan County. But the game every Knox Central fan is waiting on is Oct. 19 against Russell County at home. More than likely, the winner of the game will be crowned district champions.

Lynn Camp (2-2) — A tip of the cap goes to Lynn Camp coach Phil Russell. Things are going as planned for the Wildcat coach, as his team is sitting at .500 heading into their game against Harlan Friday. Russell has worked wonders at Lynn Camp and I’m very impressed. Lynn Camp’s 23-14 win against Pineville on the road last week will go a long way for the Wildcat football program. Don’t be surprised to see Lynn Camp sneak up on some more teams in the coming weeks.

North Laurel (3-1) — The fifth game of the season hasn’t been kind to Chris Larkey’s North Laurel Jaguars the past two seasons. Last season North Laurel was sitting pretty at 3-1 and lost to Russell County, 34-0, and proceeded to go 0-5 the remainder of the season. In 2010, the Jaguars were 2-2 and lost to Clay County 48-0 and only went 1-4 the rest of the way, so needless to say, Friday’s home game against Russell County is important.

But winning the game will be easier said than done. The Lakers are 4-0 and have blown out almost every team they have faced.

This isn’t a district game for North Laurel, but the Jaguars need some momentum heading into a district showdown match-up with rival South Laurel.

South Laurel (1-3) — If there is one team in the Tri-County that needs to hit the panic button, it’s South Laurel. The Cardinals entered the season with high expectations, but an inconsistent offense along with a sputtering defense has South Laurel faithful worrying.

The good news? South Laurel is 0-0 in district play. The bad news? The Cardinals will probably enter their district showdown with North Laurel riding a three-game losing skid. The Cardinals need some positives to come out of Friday’s game against Corbin.

Whitley County (1-2) — The Colonels are good and will only continue to get better. Jim Black’s squad plays the toughest schedule in the Tri-County and should be able to string together some wins before their match-up against Somerset on the road Sept. 28. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, if Whitley County stays healthy, the Colonels can win their district.

Williamsburg (4-0) — If the Yellow Jackets can get by Oneida, Tenn. (3-1) Friday, they’ll finish the regular season unbeaten — mark it down.

The Indians will be the toughest regular season team the Yellow Jackets will face, but getting a win won’t be easy — Oneida, Tenn. defeated Williamsburg in 2011, 45-22. But even if Williamsburg were to lose, they’ll go unbeaten the rest of the regular season.

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