Belfry High School is heading back to the Class 3A state championship football game in Kentucky.
Coach Philip Haywood and his staff have once again done a fantastic job. The Pirates have a 12-2 record and will have a rematch with Louisville Central this Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
The Pirates defeated two undefeated teams – both ranked above them – the last two weeks. They handedly beat Breathitt County in the regional final and then Bourbon County in the state semi-final this past Friday night.
The Pirates have some great depth at running back and have their usual strong running attack. However, it is their strong offensive and defensive lines that have made the difference. They have dominated opposing lines in the playoffs and deserve much praise.
The guys down in the trenches do not normally get the credit they deserve. I wanted to mention a few of those linemen that have paved the way for Belfry’s success.
They include – in no particular order –Joey Duty, Zach Taylor, Mackey Francis, Michael Barnes, Antonio “Tuffy” Willis, Zack Lester and James May. Throw in Tony Messer at tight end/defensive end and linebackers Madison Ghormley and Payton Mullins and the Pirates have a strong nucleus up front, ready to stop the opposition with their defense and opening up huge holes on offense.
Pond Creek Nation has something to be proud of once again this season. This is Belfry’s third straight trip to the championship game. Last year they lost a heartbreaker to Louisville Central by one point – 15-14. The Pirates also lost to Central in 2010 in the title game and 2008.
However, I think Belfry just might get revenge this season. It should be another classic battle in Bowling Green on Friday.
… Tickets for Fridays’ Belfry vs. Central state football Class 3A championship game are on sale at Belfry High School. Tickets will be sold until the end of school on Wednesday, November 26, 2012. The price is $8 in advance and $11 at the gate. No tickets will be available on Thursday. If you have any questions call the school at 606-237-3900.
… Riverside football coach Ralph Hensley has officially retired from coaching. I first reported this a couple of weeks ago.
Hensley, a 1968 Williamson High School graduate, finished his 26-year coaching career that included stints at East Bank (1979-1998) and Riverside (2007-2012) with a 176-110 record; five victories short of tying DuPont and Riverside coach Dick Whitman for most in the Kanawha Valley. Hensley led East Bank to Class AA state championships in 1989, 1990, 1993 and 1996.
Hensley, who grew up at Nolan, took over Riverside in 2007 after Whitman retired and compiled a 26-35 mark. The Warriors finished this season with a 2-8 record, but won their final game.
… Congrats to Mingo Central’s Danielle Browning for being on the Class AA honorable mention list for the all-state volleyball team. I think a couple of other players should have been on the list for the Lady Miners.
… Several Mingo Central players made the first team of the Cardinal Conference. The Miners will play full-time in the conference next season. They had scheduled contracts this season they couldn’t break, so they were unable to play every team in the conference. However, coach Yogi Kinder said players were still eligible for the post season awards. (See the picture and cutline on this page for the players who made the first team and honorable mention list.)
… The West Virginia University football team has added a junior college player to its 2013 recruiting class. Rivals.com is reporting that Running Back Dreamius Smith has given WVU his verbal commitment. Smith is a 5-foot-11, 220 pound running back currently playing at Butler County Community College in Kansas.
Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)