Belfry 2018

  1. #1
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    Belfry 2018

    What does Belfry need to do to improve in 2018? What do they need to keep doing to be successful? Remember, please be constructive.
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    ATLCat's Avatar
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    This will be an interesting year for Belfry with big Question Marks.

    OFFENSE
    What we know about Belfry is that they are going to have one of the best Offensive Lines in the entire State of Kentucky. The Pirates return every single starting linemen including two or three guys who are already getting Mid-Major and FCS attention. The Pirates have several 2 or 3 year starters back and will be dominant up front after road grading to 4,813 rushing yards last year (over 370 per game). Dagen Rash and Ethan Wolford will both be in All-State discussions at Season's End.

    Belfry returns QB Avery Browning after he did a solid job last season. Outside of Browning though the Pirates have their biggest Question Mark in the backfield. Belfry lost all three starting backs in FB Derek Wellman, HB Taveon Hunter, and HB Justin Adkins. Hunter and Wellman were both 1,000 yard rushers with very unique skill sets that will be very hard to replace.

    Peyton Hensley saw a ton of action spelling for Wellman to keep him fresh on Defense and should have a big year, he ran for almost 800 yards primarily in reserve including 139 yards in the season ending loss to Central when Wellman was hurt. Hensley had some critical fumbles though in that game and that will be the only thing standing in the way of a monster season.

    The HB spots will be a heated competition. One I anticipate will be anchored by Sophomore Isaac Dixon. Dixon wowed Belfry fans in his limited Varsity reps and seems to have the "IT" factor. He has high level speed and runs like he is shot out of a cannon. The potential is there but he will certainly experience growing pains moving to the starting side. The other spot will be interesting to see who emerges and subsequent starting roles on Defense may take an effect. Ben Bentley (younger brother to Cole Bentley) would seem to be the most likely candidate, but he will also be asked to take a much greater role in the Secondary.

    The holes will be there for the Belfry backs and a smooth QB will help them out, but what happens when the football is in their hands and Defenses are hitting them will still need to be determined.



    DEFENSE
    The good news for Belfry is the vast amount of their Front 7 stays relatively in tact. The bad news is Belfry was brutalized at times last season by good running teams, specifically in their loss to Central when the Pirates allowed nearly 300 rushing yards and could not get off the field. Part of that issue against Central was missing their star LB Wellman, but with graduation they now will have to do without him the entire season.

    Austin Fields did what he could at the other LB spot and will be back. DE/OLB Grayson Cook also left that Central game with an injury early on and will be asked to take a big step froward. Sophomore Seth Mounts may have the highest expectations on his shoulder, Mounts has all the tools to be a star and will get his first sustained action in the spotlight at the other DE spot.

    The Belfry Interior DLine was extremely undersized and at times overmatched. Dylan Goff returns and made some huge plays, but he is a prime example of the size issue that plagued Belfry. From what I gather help may have came as JR Jacob Baisden may be back on the field this year. Baisden saw significant minutes at DT as a Freshman and would be a huge addition back to the Front 7. It also appears that Justin Barker has moved back to Belfry after playing at Mingo Cetral, WV last year. Barker saw significant action at DE in 2016 and was a starter at Left Tackle on Offense.

    The Pirate Defensive Backfield, much like their Offensive mirror, is going to be very green and take their lumps as they grow. Adkins, Hunter, and Devin Varney all graduated with a ton of game experience over their 4-year careers and a lot of big plays made. Bentley and Isaiah Birchfield both seem to be likely candidates to start, but the other two spots will be a fierce competition. Browning is experienced in the secondary but Haywood prefers not risking his QB's health on Defense if possible.


    ANALYSIS
    IF, Belfry's young backs can mature I expect their Offense to hum along nicely and be good enough to give any 3A team in the State enough of a challenge that they can score enough points to win on any given night. The line is that good.

    I expect Belfry to still struggle at times on Defense against teams who can mix the run and the pass and can open holes up when the Pirates are spread wide. Baisden and Barker will improve the interior D-line markedly, but losing Wellman means a huge vacancy to fill. Belfry's Defense should be quick and give some teams fits in the Front 7, but with Boyle County, Central, and Corbin all being teams with great balance it may make for a tough matchup if Belfry doesn't significantly grow up.

    The Secondary will struggle early on for sure. They lack a ton of size and the loss of three dynamic play makers will be felt. The best thing that can happen for the Secondary is for Belfry to show that improvement against the run so the D can get off the field.

    I fully expect Belfry to still be at a Championship Caliber level by most year's standards for a 3A team. With so much youth this team will be VERY good in 2019 and should really mature as the season grows. The problem for Belfry is cross bracketing is not friendly and a path to the State Finals means a date with Boyle County in the Regional Finals and then travelling to Corbin in the Semi's. I don't see anyone beating Boyle County in 3A this year and the thought of Reece Smtih and Landon Bartleson against Belfry's young D is scary.

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    The cross bracketing also got me off on a different tangent I feel like sharing.

    I am not sure it is the product of the modern age of collegiate recruiting evolving, a product of Belfry playing a significantly hardr schedule, or a combo of both... but this Senior Class of Belfry players has really seen an absurd amount of D-1 players (Specifically All-Americans) and things will only drastically increase this year further.


    For decades I would consider it "rare" that Belfry would run into a D-1 player, and you could count on one hand most likely how many 4* or 5* type of talents they had seen.

    Here is a list of D-1 players this Senior Class has seen either across the field or in their own huddle in their time at Belfry:

    BELFRY Graduated
    Cole Bentley- Louisville
    Austin Dotson- UK
    Jordan Scott- EKU
    Ray Horton- EKU
    Cameron Catron- EKU
    Taveon Hunter- Morehead State

    Graduated Competition:
    5* Cade Mays, Knoxville Catholic- Georgia (AA)
    4* Amari Rodgers, Knoxville Catholic- Clemson (AA)

    4* Tahj Rice, Waggener- Duke
    4* Jairus Brents, Waggener- Louisville
    Reece Donahue, Cabell Midland- WVU
    Legend Brumbaugh, Lexington Catholic- Maryland

    Isaiah Duncan, Cabell Midland- Marshall
    Ethan Bingham, Johnson Central- Marshall
    Cam Blakely, Knoxville Catholic- Miami (OH)
    Chase Kuerschen, Knoxville Catholic- Tulane
    Chase Cunningham, Knoxville Catholic- MTSU
    Jacob Hendricks, Cabell Midland- Army
    Woodford Lankford, LexCath- Toledo

    Caperton Humphrey, Cabell Midland- EKU
    Jackson Beerman, Tates Creek- EKU
    DJ Mitchell, Knoxville Catholic- EKU
    Jeff Wood, Knoxville Catholic- UT Chattanooga


    Current D1 Prospect Players:
    5* Darnell Wright, Huntington- Undecided (AA)
    4* Bryn Tucker, Knoxville Catholic- Undecided (Will be AA most likely)
    Cooper Mays, Knoxville Catholic- Undecided
    Kyle Kelly, Newport Catholic- Undecided
    Brandon Jones, Waggener- Undecided
    Ivan Vaughn, Cabell Midland- Undecided
    Max Howell, Huntington- Undecided
    _________________________________________
    11 Guys Going or Most Likely to Go to a Power 5 Conference School

    20 Guys Going or Most Likely to Go to a FBS Level School

    6 Players with Either a 4* or 5* Rating

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    ATLCat's Avatar
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    With cross bracketing that means Belfry may get to see the following guys potentially this year:

    WanDale Robinson, Western Hills
    Resse Smith, Boyle County
    Landon Bartleson, Boyle County
    Beau Allen, LexCath
    Marc Rumpke, LexCath
    Sam Vaughan, LexCath

  5. #5

    Where did number 5 from last yr go to college?

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    I believe Bentley will be an OL starter for U of L this fall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLCat View Post
    I am not sure it is the product of the modern age of collegiate recruiting evolving, a product of Belfry playing a significantly hardr schedule, or a combo of both... but this Senior Class of Belfry players has really seen an absurd amount of D-1 players (Specifically All-Americans) and things will only drastically increase this year further.
    It may be a combination of both, but I think Belfry's scheduling has more to do with it. You've really got to hand it to Coach Haywood and his staff. For a small-ish mountain school, the Pirates have stared down some rugged schedules over the past 7-8 years. No doubt a big reason why they've been on such a great run.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reallydontbelievethehype View Post
    Where did number 5 from last yr go to college?
    Georgetown

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    Quote Originally Posted by tcjkbt View Post
    I believe Bentley will be an OL starter for U of L this fall.
    He will... in fact I expect Cole and Dotson (UK) both to see key minutes.

    His younger brother Ben will be a key player for Belfry this year. Ben does not have Cole's size (to say the least) HAHA

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATLCat View Post
    With cross bracketing that means Belfry may get to see the following guys potentially this year:

    WanDale Robinson, Western Hills
    Resse Smith, Boyle County
    Landon Bartleson, Boyle County
    Beau Allen, LexCath
    Marc Rumpke, LexCath
    Sam Vaughan, LexCath
    People are sleeping on Boyle County senior Tanner Crawford. Kid ran for 1,900 yards and 30TDs last year and IMO is the better running back than Landon Bartelson. Crawford runs really hard.

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