GOODY, Ky. – The 2015 football season starts tonight for the Belfry Pirates against the Tates Creek Commodores at the 31st annual Pike County Bowl to be held at CAM Stadium.
The Pirates will enter the season with back-to-back Class 3A state championships under their belt. Last year was a great season for Head Coach Phillip Haywood and the Pirates. Belfry lost only two games last season, the first was to the Pikeville Panthers and the second was to Johnson Central in the last game of the regular season. The Pirates defeated the Central Yellow Jackets in the championship game, by a score of 14-7, to bring the state champion title back to Pond Creek.
The Pirates will be playing this year without their star running back from last year, Austin Taylor. Taylor rushed for 1,600 yards last season on 213 rushing attempts; he scored 26 touchdowns for the Pirates. This year, the Pirate ground game will be on the shoulders of senior running back Xondre Willis. Last year as a junior, Willis compiled 649 rushing yards from 64 rushing attempts and added 10 touchdowns.
The Pirates also lost their senior quarter back, Keaton Taylor to graduation. Coach Haywood will be depending on his junior quarterback, Noah Corbett to lead the offense this season. Corbett gained some playing time last season due to a minor injury that occurred to Taylor during the season. Corbett threw for 323 yards last year on 26 passing attempts, and he added 4 passing touchdowns for the Pirates.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Pirates have two huge obstacles that the Commodores will have to get past. Cole Bentley and Ray Horton will both be on the defensive line for the Pirates. Bentley recorded 103 total tackles for Belfry last year and Horton recorded 114 tackles. The Pirates lost their leading tackler from last year, Dakota Stanley, but have plenty of talented players itching for their chance to prove themselves.
The Tates Creek Commodores are traveling from the Lexington, Ky. area. The Commodores only won three games last season but play in a very tough Class 6A Division. This will be Head Coach Antoine Sims second year with the Commodores.
The game will take place after the Phelps versus East Ridge ball game scheduled at 6:00 p.m., Belfry and Tates Creek will play directly afterwards at 8:35 p.m.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)