Jump to content

Contenders or Pretenders for Pikeville's throne?


Contenders or Pretenders?  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Who can hang with Pikeville this year?

    • Raceland is a contender
    • Raceland is a pretender
    • Hazard is a contender
    • Hazard is a pretender
    • Paintsville is a contender
    • Paintsville is a pretender
    • NewCath is a contender
    • NewCath is a pretender
    • Bethlehem is a contender
    • Bethlehem is a pretender


Recommended Posts

Pikeville has been the alpha dog of 1A under the current alignment and the foundation beneath its feet shows no signs of cracking. They'll enter this season as the top ranked team in the class again and just scrimmaged Johnson Central to a virtual tie. The Panthers haven't been this hot since Hillard Howard was patrolling the sidelines. But that lofty position carries with it a target on their back and several hunters will be taking aim this year. Let's do a fly-by of five potential contenders - or are they pretenders? - to Pikeville this season.
 

Raceland - The Rams only lose two seniors from a 12 win semifinalist. This year's roster boasts 33 upperclassmen, including a superb junior class and a senior class bolstered by several players who took advantage of the supplemental year. Throw in a pair of high impact transfers, and this team is stacked on both sides of the ball. The window for Raceland to finally get the monkey off its back is as open now as it's ever been.

Hazard - Pikeville's chief district competition and occasional tormentor returns a strong nucleus from a top 5 team, headed up by quarterback Max Pelfrey. He was one of Kentucky's better looking freshman QBs last year. The intimidation factor that Pikeville wields over most 1A schools isn't as prevalent for Hazard due to annual encounters that have featured multiple Bulldog wins and other competitive games in recent years.

Paintsville - A year removed from their first state championship, the Tigers slipped to 6-6 in 2021. Year two under Trevor Hoskins should see Paintsville return to the forefront of 1A with Harris Phelps in the backfield, along with quarterback Frederick James and his top three receivers, plus several starters back on defense. A return to the top 5 should be expected, but they'll have to go through Raceland if they want to get back to Kroger Field. The Rams swept the Tigers last year by multiple scores each time.

Newport Central Catholic - A trip to Lexington in early December feels like a very attainable goal for the Breds (9-4 in 2021) with what they've got coming back. Only five seniors are gone from last year's roster. Junior quarterback Kolton Smith appears to have the measurables and tools to play on Saturdays in a couple of years. He'll have a lot of familiar faces around him to distribute the ball to, as most primary skill people are back.

Bethlehem - Coach Bryan Walker hit the ground running in Bardstown when he took over in 2019. He's compiled a 25-9 record, including last year's 11 win semifinalist squad. Whether or not they take the next step this year will likely come down to how they replace numerous losses on defense. The offense should put points on the board, with the quarterback, leading rusher, and leading receiver all back. Those three accounted for 58 touchdowns a year ago.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pikeville's line play on both sides of the ball is what has helped them become a dynasty.

The Panthers are going to be really good up front again.. arguably this could be their best unit on offense on the line in fact.

That alone is a tall task for any 1A team to overcome.

Add in playmakers like Boykins (transfer from Pike Central) and a now healthy Carson Wright and Pikeville now is clearly the team everyone is chasing the tail of.

Now... add in on top of that Blake Birchfield... who may very well be firmly in the Mr. Football race and may go down as one of the Pikeville all-timers if he stays healthy. Suddenly Pikeville looks like a battleship in the 1A marina.

Yes.. Pikeville has a question mark at the QB position with a very talented but young QB or the option of run first Boykins... and yes they don't have the receivers they have been accustomed to... but you still have the makeup for a team that will need to have their off night on your best night to defeat them.

 

 

Long story short.... it wouldn't surprise me if every other team is a Pretender just because Pikeville should be a very,very good small school team if they can keep healthy... and even if they don't... this is a program with the depth of a 3A or 4A school and not the depth of a 1A team.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hazard has already proven they can knock them out of the playoffs 2 years ago. I don’t remember Hazard being the favorite either…. 
 

Pikeville based on the film I saw is worthy….

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just don’t see anyone being able to contend with Pikeville in 1A. Out of this list I would guess Raceland as the most likely to make a run at them. New Cath just doesn’t move the needle for me these days. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Mid-Season Reassessment 

This seems easy enough at this point. Pikeville is the favorite. Not a co-favorite, but the favorite.  I think Raceland still stands alone as the most likely to knock the crown off Pikeville's head, but the line of separation is pronounced. Pikeville couldn't afford to sleepwalk through an encounter with the Rams.

Among the rest, we need to see more from Hazard, NewCath, and Bethlehem. Haven't seen anything yet to make me think they're capable if Pikeville is on its game. Paintsville is out after getting a first hand look at the Panthers a couple of weeks ago. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

24 minutes ago, Tigerpride94 said:

Raceland is a contender and the rest are pretenders.

I agree with this. I have seen Raceland and Pikeville. I like that they are challenging themselves a bit with their schedules. Raceland is real good on defense while Pikeville seems to be the most well rounded. I have seen NCC and they simply don't have enough. They lost by multiple scores to a bad Campbell County team and the rest of their schedule besides Beecwhood will not not challenge them enough. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DevilMayCare said:

Mid-Season Reassessment 

This seems easy enough at this point. Pikeville is the favorite. Not a co-favorite, but the favorite.  I think Raceland still stands alone as the most likely to knock the crown off Pikeville's head, but the line of separation is pronounced. Pikeville couldn't afford to sleepwalk through an encounter with the Rams.

Among the rest, we need to see more from Hazard, NewCath, and Bethlehem. Haven't seen anything yet to make me think they're capable if Pikeville is on its game. Paintsville is out after getting a first hand look at the Panthers a couple of weeks ago. 

 

1 hour ago, Tigerpride94 said:

Raceland is a contender and the rest are pretenders.

 

31 minutes ago, FirstTimeLongTime said:

I agree with this. I have seen Raceland and Pikeville. I like that they are challenging themselves a bit with their schedules. Raceland is real good on defense while Pikeville seems to be the most well rounded. I have seen NCC and they simply don't have enough. They lost by multiple scores to a bad Campbell County team and the rest of their schedule besides Beecwhood will not not challenge them enough. 

I am a 4th here.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be surprised to see Raceland play Pikeville within 3 TD's in the post season....

 

 

I would be surprised to see anyone not named Raceland play Pikeville within 5 TD's in the post season.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, ATLCat said:

I would be surprised to see Raceland play Pikeville within 3 TD's in the post season....

 

 

I would be surprised to see anyone not named Raceland play Pikeville within 5 TD's in the post season.

I think some combination of Raceland's best effort and a mediocre effort by Pikeville could be closer than 3 TDs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, ATLCat said:

I would be surprised to see Raceland play Pikeville within 3 TD's in the post season....

 

 

I would be surprised to see anyone not named Raceland play Pikeville within 5 TD's in the post season.

 

18 minutes ago, theguru said:

I think some combination of Raceland's best effort and a mediocre effort by Pikeville could be closer than 3 TDs.

For what it's worth, if they played this week, Calpreps has it a 2 TD win by Pikeville. 28-14. 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hazard was Pikevilles toughest game besides Russellville last year in Class 1A. 
 

Hazard and Raceland will be the only two that have a say, after that it’s Newport Central Catholic and Bethlehem. The rest will not be close.

I'm hoping Hazard remains healthy because they’ve been devastated with injuries that have killed there seasons success over the past several years. I honestly think Hazards line can match Pikevilles because they did last year. But when you have a horse like Birchfield, he is just hard to shut down.

Pikeville with may have Thunder and Lightning with Birchfield and Boykins, I’m curious when it gets cold how well Boykins can hang onto the ball. He’s shown in the film I’ve watched he does fumble. Ball security will be key in the playoffs.

Racelands trip to Highlands will benefit them come playoff time. But hoping the way things have been for there schedule and the teams that are usually better competition doesn’t come back to haunt them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say Pikeville is a 2 TD favorite over Raceland and a 4 TD favorite over New Cath, Hazard and Bethlehem. And that may be a little generous to the contenders. 

But I will add, most people had Beechwood a 2 TD underdog to LCA the last two years and we know what happened in those two games. So to that point, Raceland has a chance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bethlehem has a capable QB in Cooper Stone, a talented RB in Zane Wickiffe, and seem to find new wideouts every year. I do know they are down on lineman this season and lack defensive experience. They haven’t really played anybody yet so will wait until after Holy Cross, Campbellsville, etc. before further comment. Stone leads the state in passing yards but also throws it 40x/game.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using the site you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use Policies.