By Kyle Lovern
The regular season in high school football can begin tonight in the Bluegrass State, however the Belfry Pirates will hold one more preseason scrimmage tonight before opening up next week in the 30th annual Pike County Bowl.
Meanwhile, Mountain State teams will not open up until next Friday, August 29, but Mingo Central and Tug Valley both host scrimmage games Friday.
The Pirates will host Hazard at CAM Stadium. That practice game is slated to start at 7 p.m.
The Miners are slated to host Independence, kicking off at 7 p.m. at Harless Stadium.
The Panthers will host Shelby Valley, Ky. That scrimmage has an earlier start of 6 p.m.
Three teams in the region will start their regular season games tonight.
The Phelps Hornets travel to Jenkins, Prestonsburg heads to Pikeville to battle the Panthers, while Whitley County invades Pike Central.
Coaches use the preseason scrimmages to iron out some wrinkles they saw in last weekend’s practice games.
Every coaching staff said they need to make some adjustments and work on a few things before the regular season begins.
Coach Yogi Kinder said this about the Miner’s scrimmage with Scott last Saturday. “It went okay. We came away with no injuries, but we made a lot of mistakes. We got to look at a lot of different kids. We might need to move some kids around to make us a better football team.”
Tug Valley head coach Tony Clusky said he needs to evaluate some of his players and work on some things.
Both coaches agree that it gives some younger players a chance to get in on some snaps and show what they can to. If they are hoping for playing time in the regular season, they need to show what they can do in preseason.
Coach Philip Haywood spoke at the Pike County Bowl luncheon and said, “We are a work in progress and we will take it one game at a time.”
“Hopefully our defense will carry us early in the season until our offense can catch up,” Haywood said.
The Pirates have a new starting quarterback and several other running backs that will see more action this season. Belfry was hit hard by graduation losing Sani Warren, Trenity Carr , Justin Johnson and Davontae Dari.
Local fans can get an early look at their favorite teams tonight. Then next week the real season will begin.
Before you know it, it will be playoff time.
(Kyle Lovern is the Sports Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)