They don't live here, not this year
Fifty-three weeks ago, on the eve of the 2006 state football finals, this blog was launched with a post titled “The State Finals Live Here” that detailed the frequency with which local teams made the finals.
By now you now that the finals have taken up residence elsewhere this year, meaning there’s no area team in Louisville for only the third time in the last 21 seasons, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk a little football as the biggest games of the season approach.
First, it’s interesting to note that while the new six-class system will crown two more champions than in recent years (and remember, kids, that’s one for every 36 or so schools), most of the teams in the finals are schools that you’d consider traditional powers.
That means the rich will probably get richer this weekend, even without the presence of some of the other top-drawer programs (Danville, Boyle County, Covington Catholic and Male, to name a few).
From St. Xavier and Trinity to Belfry and Beechwood, eight of the 12 teams have been in the finals in recent years, and six of them have been there several times. Two of the other four teams, Fort Campbell and Central, bring a little bit of history to the party.
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There was a time when The Associated Press All-State team and Coach of the Year were announced the week of the finals, but those announcements have been pushed back toward Christmas in recent years.
You shouldn’t expect to see an abundance of area players on the All-State team, but here’s hoping Larry French of Lincoln County gets some serious consideration for Coach of the Year. The work of French and his staff to turn what was expected to be a run-of-the-mill team into a state semifinalist should not go unnoticed.
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If you’re interested in following the games in person or from afar, here’s the link to the KHSAA page that includes links to rosters, depth charts and stats for all 12 teams, as well as links to live audio and live stats.
As for the audio, local sportscaster Steve Bertram will be calling two or three of the games on the KHSAA network, which is also available over the air in the Lexington area and much of this area on WVLK-FM (101.5).
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Even with local no teams playing, there will still be football coverage in the Advocate. Look for a story in Sunday’s paper in which the six area coaches answer questions about the 2007 season and look ahead to 2008.
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I’m wrapping up a season of predictions by giving you the six picks for the title games, which call for three public schools and three private schools to take home the big trophies:
- 1A: Beechwood over Lexington Christian.
- 2A: Newport Central Catholic over Fort Campbell.
- 3A: Belfry over Central.
- 4A: Lexington Catholic over Lone Oak.
- 5A: Highlands over Bowling Green.
- 6A: Trinity over St. Xavier.
Last week: 1-0. For the season: 48-17 (.738).
Finally, thanks to all who have read and responded to this blog over the last one year and one week. Keep reading.