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We have reached that point in the season when district play begins. Teams have played their pre-district schedule and hopefully have prepared themselves for district play. Let's take a look at the new districts and who we think the winners will be in each district. I am listing each district's teams in the order of expected finish.

District 1

Russellville ... 5-1
Crittenden County ... 4-2
Fulton City ... 1-5
Fulton County ... 0-6

Russellville is ranked in the top 5 in 1A and is the clear favorite in this district. It was looking like Crittenden County might be a solid challenger but the loss to Union County poked holes in their balloon. These two face off in the last district game so there is time for Crittenden County to get better and be ready to pull off an upset. This is a two team district with the Fultons posing no threat.

District 2
Campbellsville ... 6-0
Bethlehem ... 4-1
Caverna ... 1-4
Fort Knox ... 1-4

This district also looks like a two team race. Campbellsville is off to a great start and was positioned as the clear favorite. However, the loss of standout RB Kendon Young for the season is a big cloud over their prospects going forward. They will almost certainly suffer their first defeat this week against 2A Danville. That will be another hurdle for the team to face entering district play and their first district game is against their main challenger, Bethlehem. Cambellsville will get a week off to prepare for Bethlehem and that may be one of the best scheduled bye weeks in the state. Bethlehem has posted a nice record but their strength of schedule is one of the worst in 1A which makes it difficult to know how they will match up against Campbellsville. Last year Campbellsville had no problem with Bethlehem. Campbellsville is the favorite but there are a lot of question marks.

District 3
Holy Cross (Louisville) ... 2-4
Kentucky Country Day ... 3-3
Frankfort ... 0-6
Eminence ... 4-2

Now this is an interesting district. Pre-season, this looked like one of the toughest and most competitive districts in 1A. It may still turn out that way. It really is a toss up between Holy Cross and Country Day. That game is too close to call. The main wild card in this district is Frankfort. Opponents better not let the 0-6 record give them a false sense of security. Frankfort has played the toughest schedule in 1A. If they get D1 talent Anthony Robinson back, Frankfort can spring a huge surprise in this district. Eminence is another team with a nice record built on a weak schedule. I don't see them as a threat in the district.

District 4
Beechwood ... 4-1
Ludlow ... 4-2
Bellevue ... 2-4
Dayton ... 1-5

It is no surprise to see the Beechwood Tigers as the favorite. They have never lost a district game in the 6 class era and it would be a huge upset if it happened this year. Ludlow is solidly in the #2 slot in this district but do not look to have enough to challenge Beechwood. Bellevue and Dayton are having disappointing seasons. Bellevue is usually in that #2 slot but they are struggling. Dayton had much higher expectations than where they are now.

District 5
Paris ... 6-0
Bishop Brossart ... 5-0
Nicholas County ... 3-3
Bracken County ... 2-4
Berea ... 0-6

A couple of surprise teams lead the way in this district. Paris was the pre-season favorite but they are outperforming those projections with an undefeated record and a big win over old district rival Frankfort. Bishop Brossart has come out of nowhere to fill the #2 slot. The Mustangs got a big district win last week over #3 Nicholas County to position themselves as the main threat to Paris. It would surprise me to see the Mustangs come out on top in that battle, but they have been surprising all year so don't count them out. Nicholas County is a slight favorite over Bracken County for the #3 position.

District 6
Paintsville ... 6-0
Raceland ... 4-2
Fairview ... 4-2

Here it is - the toughest district in 1A and perhaps the most competitive district in the state. All three teams are ranked in the 1A top 10 and any one of these three could win this district. Paintsville is a slight favorite but they have played the weakest schedule of the three and had to pull out a miracle finish to win the game against their one top notch opponent they faced, Pikeville. Raceland seems to have struggled a little against very high expectations and a very tough schedule. The Rams are hoping that challenging schedule has them ready to win this district. Fairview also has played a tough schedule to prepare themselves for the district. No other district in the state can say that every district game will be a challenge like this one.

District 7
Williamsburg ... 1-4
Pineville ... 3-2
Harlan ... 4-1
Lynn Camp ... 4-2

No, I didn't get that order reversed. Despite the records, I see Williamsburg coming out on top in this district. The Yellow Jackets had to replace an entire starting team. They are getting better every week and last week posted a win over top 15 Ludlow. I am slotting Pineville at #2 based on their common opponent with Harlan, Middlesboro. Pineville got a win and Harlan a loss. Lynn Camp's two losses are lopsided ones against teams that the other 3 would have beaten or at least been more competitive with.

District 8
Pikeville ... 4-2
Hazard ... 5-1
South Floyd ... 1-4
Jenkins ... 0-5
Phelps ... 0-5

This is another two team district, and we won't be waiting to find out who the king is. Pikeville and Hazard face off this week. Pikeville is the favorite but Hazard is a perennially tough opponent who is overcoming some injuries and looking to show everyone they are still the Hazard Bulldogs we all know. Hazard is still stinging from the early season loss to Fairview and want to erase that mark with an upset over Pikeville. Pikeville is one of the favorites to win it all in 1A. A win by Hazard puts the Bulldogs back in the 1A title mix - not to mention the home field advantage in the playoffs.

There you have it. A preview of what the next few weeks should look like in 1A.