The good thing about good rivalries is that they tend to go back and forth over a period of years. One team will seem to be getting the better of the other for a few years, and then the second team will turn things its way for a while.
So it is with the Danville-Somerset rivalry, a hundred-year war (at least) that has certainly seen its share of swings over the years and decades. And the momentum currently sits with Somerset, which has won four straight games against Danville over the last three years, including regular-season and playoff games last year when the teams were placed in the same Class 2A district.
The Briar Jumpers are certainly good enough to make it five in a row, and the Admirals appear to be good enough to end the streak, which sets the stage for a compelling game tonight at Admiral Stadium.
At least some of the Somerset players’ thoughts will be elsewhere, however, after two Jumpers, senior tight end-linebacker Will Hinton and sophomore tight end-defensive lineman Jacobi Gilmore, were seriously injured in an auto accident just after leaving practice Thursday. The two players, both of whom are starters, were taken by helicopter to a Lexington hospital. Media reports today said both boys’ injuries are expected to pull through, but both will require or have required surgery. That’s very good news out of what appeared to be a dire situation yesterday, when it was said that their injuries were life-threatening.
As for the game, Danville has something to prove, but Somerset is the champ until that happens. Look for a relatively low-scoring battle between two teams that don’t want to give an inch, and look for the two teams to meet again in the postseason for a second straight year.
Garrard County’s game with Bourbon County was also expected to be a key district showdown as well, but the Golden Lions faltered against Bath County in their 3A-5 district opener, and they don’t look to match up as well with Bourbon as it might have appeared before the season.
On the other hand, this is the toughest opponent to date for Bourbon, which led by Garrard County alumnus and former Boyle County assistant John Hodge, who is in his first year as the Colonels’ coach. It’s a statement game both for Bourbon and for Hodge, who will have his players ready to go from the moment the bus pulls into the parking lot in Lancaster.
Elsewhere, Lincoln County should finally get off the district schneid in its home game with struggling South Laurel, Mercer County returns to district play with a winnable game at Marion County, and Casey County faces another tough game at Wayne County, which Casey coach Sam Marple calls the best team in that district.
- Bourbon County over Garrard County.
- Lincoln County over South Laurel.
- Mercer County over Marion County.
- Somerset over Danville.
- Wayne County over Casey County.
Last week: 4-1; season: 26-12 (.684).