After being off a couple of days, I needed to clean out the old notebook and also praise the Belfry Pirates for their state championship.
The Pirates won the Class 3A state championship last Friday. If you missed that story, go online to read our Sunday edition about the 3-0 win.
Longtime Belfry coach Philip Haywood has now led his school to three state titles. The first two were back in 2003 and 2004.
“Hard-nosed football, a purist kind of game,” is how Haywood described the hard-fought game. “You don’t see too many of those anymore.”
Haywood and his staff made some changes on defense after their only defeat of the season to Johnson Central. Those moves turned out well as Belfry’s Big Red Defense played great in the playoffs and held Wayne County, a team that average 41 points per game, scoreless in the finals.
Haywood is the state’s all-time winningest coach with 376 victories. This was perhaps the most satisfying because it came after the Pirates lost to Louisville Central in the finals the previous three years.
“That does make it special,” Haywood said. “Especially for these seniors.”
… Belfry pirate fans may purchase Belfry football state championship T-shirts and sweatshirts through Belfry High School by calling 606-237-3900 to pre-order. By ordering thru the school you help support the school and team with the expenses incurred by traveling to the game, etc.
… My friend Ireland Smith, a big Belfry Pirate fan told me about a Belfry Pirate connection to Scott County, who won the Class 6A championship. Chris Hatfield, their line coach, played for Coach Dick Roddy at Belfry. His sister Sherry Casey is Belfry’s cheerleading coach and his brother Mike played basketball for the Pirates. His dad Howard is in the Belfry Pirate Hall Of Fame. Howard played all sports and was one of the best basketball players to ever play for the Pirates. Chris’ mother Ann was a cheerleader for four years and was also Miss Belfry High School back in the later 1950s.
…. Another local connection to that Scott County team is Austin Crank, a defensive tackle for that squad. He is the grandson of Bobby and Gladys Smith of Lovely, Ky., formerly of Nolan. Crank had 10 tackles in the championship game. He also had a couple of QB sacks. No doubt grandpa and grandma were happy. It was Scott County’s first title since 1975.
…. WVU coach Dana Holgorsen and his football staff got an early Christmas present. On Monday, some of their early recruiting work paid off with one big commitment for the 2014 season.
Dravon Henry, a 4-star defensive back out of Aliquippa, Pa., pledged to the West Virginia University football team in an announcement at his high school. It was aired live on the local television channels up there.
Henry’s decision came down to WVU, Pittsburgh and Miami and ultimately he and his family felt the most comfortable with the Mountaineers down the road in Morgantown.
West Virginia safeties coach Tony Gibson, a strong recruiting name in western Pennsylvania, took the lead to get Henry committed to play for his defense next season.
Mountaineer fans love to get something over on their old rival Pitt.
… Here is a couple of tidbits out of Boone County. Long-time Skyhawk Head Football Coach Shane Griffith has decided to return to Scott High School for another year. Griffith had given serious consideration to calling the team’s unsuccessful 2013 his last. He is working on obtaining a principal’s certificate and indicated he might pursue an administrative career.
His squad will play Mingo Central next year in the Cardinal Conference.
… In related news, the Ottawa Red Blacks of the Canadian Football League have signed former Scott Skyhawk star Jordan Roberts to a contract. Roberts had previously been with the Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL during the pre-season as a free agent.
Roberts first played at WVU as an invited walk-on, but later transferred to the University of Charleston. He was the state’s player of the year his senior season.
…Congrats to several Mingo County players who have received all-state honors this week. Alex “Booger” Lee and Zach Holt of Mingo Central made the AA All-State teams. Several other Miners were named to the honorable mention lists. (See related story on this page.)
Two Tug Valley players, David Runyon and Aaron Copley were on the Class A honorable mention list.
…(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com)