Jul 17, 13, 12:48 PM #2For Belfry fans, how does the 2013 edition figure to compare to the last couple of teams?
Additionally, much like everything Beechwood does should focus on beating Mayfield, everything Belfry does should focus on beating Central. With that in mind, what is Belfry doing different to prepare for Central?
Jul 18, 13, 04:37 PM #3Belfry has some holes to fill, and some question marks to answer.
They lost the entire DE/LB corps from last season. The effect from that cannot be underemphasized. They are going to miss those guys. Ghormley & Mullins were both multiple year starters at MLB. I read somewhere that they combined for over 1,000 tackles in their carreers. Messer was a beast at DE, an all stater who signed with WKU. Combine that with the losses of Thacker and Robinson in the secondary and the defense is going to be very green.
Also gone is the entire OL with the exception of center, Francis. Belfry's offense revolves around their line play, so this is a crucial key to their success.
The good news is they return nearly every skill player from last season and they have a nice mix of speed and power. If Justin Johnson is healthy (he missed a bunch of games last season with concussions) the backfield has the potential to be as good as any Pirate backfield that didn't include Howard and Jones.
Jul 18, 13, 04:45 PM #4
I agree about their focus, it should be all Central, all the time. One thing I notice is they have beefed up the schedule with top notch teams. Playing Harlan Co and Christian Academy of Knoxville and Gallia Academy OH will give them more games against the type of competition they need to help prepare them for Central.
Jul 18, 13, 04:53 PM #5
Carr is a man, plain and simple. He was injured during the championship game last season and was not full strength. I hated it for him. Look for him to have a solid year splitting time between RB and FB. Great athlete.
Hatfield came on in the last half of the season and played the FB spot like it is supposed to be played. Kid is tough as nails and fights for every yard. Was only a frosh so this may be his breakout year.
Taylor is an all around athlete that came in and helped out in several positions last season. Played QB very well in a couple of games, played everything from WR to RB to kick returner and excelled. Love having him around.
Cole Bentley - Come on All State Baseball!!!! Granted the kid was an outstanding middle school player, and he has gained some recognition at camps, but he hasn't even stepped foot on the high school field yet. Let's not build him up too much just yet, his time will come to shine soon enough.
Joey Duty - Look for this kid to make a difference, whether it is on the OL or at his usual DT position or both. Don't be surprised to see him at MLB either. I look for him to have a great year.
Michael Barnes - Big Barnes is a beast at NG.
Cameron Johnson - will need to lead the secondary along with Warren. Johnson has the body and skills to wreak some havoc back there.
Jul 22, 13, 09:12 AM #6- Austin Hatfield essentially was unstoppable last season once he got the official call to tote the rock at FB. The last 6 games of the season he took over and was one of very few RB's who actually had consistent success against Central's vaunted defense. If he can stay free of injury and continue to work hard he has the POTENTIAL to be in select company in terms of all-time status at the FB position at Belfry. His success this season will dtermine the success of the other talented Pirate skill players.
- Warren is a smooth operator at QB and a very physically gifted QB for the Pirate offense. He is smooth with the football and has shown tremendous leadership. It has been a long time since Belfry truly had a triple threat running the show behind center with experience and vocal leadership like Sani. He is the X Factor to Belfry's success. Whether the Pirates can cultivate a passing game and receiving options still remains the $10,000.00 question. Keaton Taylor is beyond a viable option for short routes.. but Belfry's struggles has been with consistent intermediate passing.
- I have said it before and will say it again..the Belfry offense has the potential to be scary good. Not the most talented backfield they have ever had, but in recent memory I cannot remember a Belfry backfield deeper, as experienced, and as complete as this one. They literally have all the pieces you dream of to run the belly series with a gritty FB, a smooth QB who can beat you multiple ways, the prototype A back with size and speed in Carr, the lightning quick B back to get outside in Johnson, and a versatile athlete in Taylor who can get in the endzone from several positions in several ways.
- As Watusi mentioned...Belfry's schedule has been significantly beefed up as a direct answer to Central. The Pirates have evolved as a program due to Central being in their path. In recent years Belfry essentially eliminated linemen playing two ways. The emphasis on speed training and individual player development is felt much deeper at the Middle School Level, who also subsequently now have stepped up their competition level. The team out of Knoxville would probably be one of the Top 5 or 6 teams overall in the State of KY most years. Belfry may get smacked around, but much like Central' philosophy... a loss in October is better than a loss in November.
- People have fallen into the trap of seeing Belfry go 0-4 with Central and the consensus, albeit fair, is to say "Central then everyone else in 3A". The truth is that for the past 6 years it has basically been Central..then Belfry...then everyone else. The more fair analogy is that Central is Affirmed, Belfry is Alydar. Aside for the 4 misses (3 of which in games essentially determined by one key play), the Belfry run of the past decade is of truly elite stature as the program has grown and evolved as mentioned. This is a school who has reached the Semi-Finals 9/10 years and reached the State Finals 6/10 seasons! Belfry has been a handful of plays away from being one of the toasts of KY HS Football. Class 3A is the only class where it seems the level of overall play has dramatically risen as a by-product of a dominant dynasty. The Class has began to play up to Central's standards...which is impressive considering Central themselves have transcended from a Top 20 overall program in KY (who used to play but lose to Louisville 6A teams) to a Top 6 or 7 program who now beats those same teams.
Jul 22, 13, 09:21 AM #7Also, to piggy back off what Watusi said I want to give special mention to Trenity Carr.
I think Carr is about to have a breakthru season to the point where people (and college scouts) take notice and say "Who is that?!?!?!?". His improvement from his Sophomore and Junior seasons was beyond significant as he basically re-made himself, changed his work ethic, and grew into a feature back after being a question mark. Supposedly he has not only continued to physically mature, he has worked hard to develop physically to the point of being a specimen. He has actively worked on speed training and all reports are he has lived in the weight room.
If his footwork has improved and he runs with the same purpose he has shown off the field, he may have an All-State type of season and garner some College Attention.
Jul 22, 13, 02:55 PM #8Let's talk schedule. This is a hard one to predict. I have looked at it many different times and given all of the above, I can see them going anywhere from 5-5 to 9-1. Realistically, they will probably be somewhere in the middle of that for the regular season.
Belfry always starts slow. They have been known to look atrocious in week 1. For example, in 2003, when Belfry defeated Elizabethtown (Chris Todd-Auburn, Zipp Duncan-UK, Brandon Deaderick-Alabama) in the state championship, they opened up the season with a 18-0 loss to Boyd County in the Pike County Bowl. If they come out of the gates like that in 2013, they will take some lumps. Their entire non-district schedule is pretty tough with no sleepers on there.
Throw in powerhouses like Johnson Central, Harlan County and Christian Academy of Knoxville, and it could get really ugly if they don't mature quickly.
How do you all think Belfry will fare against this schedule?
Aug 30 Somerset
Sep 6 @Harlan County
Sep 13 @ Southwestern
Sep 20 Pikeville
Sep 27 @ Sheldon Clark
Oct 4 Gallia Academy, OH
Oct 11 @ Christian Academy of Knoxville, TN
Oct 18 Lawrence County
Oct 25 @ Pike County Central
Nov 1 Johnson Central
District Games in Bold
Last edited by Watusi; Jul 22, 13 at 03:09 PM.
Jul 22, 13, 03:49 PM #9Somerset= Tossup, slight edge to Belfry. If this game were played later in the season I would like Belfry, but given the reasons you noted..knowing Somerset has a veteran team, especially up front, and the Jumpers passing ability... I think this is going to be a real close game. At the end of last season Belfry would have been a 3-4 TD favorite,, but with what each team returned I think this one goes either way with Belfry getting the slight nod playing at home.
@ Harlan County- Harlan County significant favorite. IMHO, HCHS is going to be the best team East of I-75 (excluding NKY). Both teams have huge holes being filled up front on defense and big time firepower on offense.The difference is Belfry is rebuilding an OLine whereas HCHS is in tact. I see lots of rushing yards, but fewer mistakes by HCHS.
@ Southwestern- Belfry heavy favorite. Southwestern struggled last season and indications are they are not overly optimistic entering the season.
Pikeville- Belfry favorite. I think Belfry simply has too much depth and size, BUT I think for the first time in a while this is a game between the two rivals that is in question in the 4th.
@ Sheldon Clark- Belfry Heavy Favorite. I don't expect a lot from SC this year especially with O'Connor going to JCHS.
Gallia Academy, OH- Tossup, slight edge Belfry Do not know a great deal about Gallia except they are comparable to an Ironton, OH.
@ Christian Acad. of Knoxville, TN- CAK Heavy Favorite. Belfry will probably be out-classed in this one.. but I think most 3A schools would be.
Lawrence County- Belfry significant favorite. I personally think LC will be a borderline Top 10 team in 3A and the #2 team in the District. I think they push Belfry a little, but still see Belfry winning. Maybe 42-21 range or 35-21 range.
@ Pike Central- Belfry heavy favorite. Pike Central was very weak last year and I think they are one year away from getting back to being competitive.
Johnson Central- JCHS slight favorite. I think the Golden Eagles will be the 2nd best team in EKY this year and significantly improved form last year. Neither team likes to win against the other on their homefield.
I am thinking 7-3 is most realistic, 6-4 is likely, 5-5 is a possibility.
I simply can't see Belfry beating HCHS on their field or CAK.. so 8-2 is best case and about as equally possible as 5-5.
My gut says Belfry's size, depth, and running game gives them enough points against Somerset and the Jumpers offense doesn't have the cohesion yet (they werent particularly impressive last season) or is really designed to attack Belfry's single biggest weakness up front and in the middle.
My gut says Gallia Academy kind of overlooks the intensity of playing at Belfry and the Pirates are clicking after 3 straight wins.
My gut says Johnson Central beats Belfry in a low scoring game.
Jul 22, 13, 07:41 PM #10
Jul 23, 13, 09:39 AM #11^^^
I agree. Typically Belfry is really good against teams who run out of the spread, but have a tendency to give up a handful of deep balls over the top. They also struggle against mobile QB's who can scramble for yards if nothing is open.
Cheuvront and his speed worries me for the deep ball aspect and the young QB Somerset has seems to have pretty good feet. Lange is a good player, but I am not sure he really scares me all that much between the tackles running the ball.
What the game might boil down to is Special Teams. Lange and Cheuvront's speed in the return game could pose a threat to a Belfry ST Unit who has a history of being a bit rusty early in the season.A Long return for a TD or deep into Pirate territory would easily flip the balance of the game to Somerset's favor.
I am right now thinking this game will be somewhere in the 28-21 final score range. I think Belfry has the ability to grind out a couple long drives and hit a homerun play with their playmakers. I think Somerset will hit a couple deep balls and capitalize on a short field either from a Belfry fumble or special teams gaffe. That's 3 TD's each... that 4th TD to get to 21 will be the product of some variable that may go either way for each team.
Jul 23, 13, 10:09 AM #12
The achilles heel is with a very mobile QB, if he gets out of the pocket and most of the D is back in coverage, then the D is vulnerable and may give up a lot of yards to the QB. A lot of those "over the top" completions we give up is when the QB is scrambling and the coverage collapses some to limit those yards. All in all though, I'll give that up if it means we have taken away the run and the offense is having to scramble for first downs because it means they are not doing what they want to do, and the odds really are in the defense's favor in those situations, at least the way Belfry has played it.
Now, with a young linebacker/end corps starting off 2013 I don't think Belfry will be seasoned enough to play that defense the way they really want to in Game 1 against the Briar Jumpers. Either way it goes though, it will be a great game for both teams and will serve to help them to grow up a lot against good competition.