Like most football teams, Belfry has suffered some injuries this season.
The most notable was starting junior tailback Justin Johnson, who suffered a severe concussion in the Ashland game. After he came back, he suffered another shot to the head. That put him out for the rest of the season and maybe even his career.
Sophomore running back Keaton Taylor has filled in at times this season, but he recently suffered a foot injury. Davontae Dari suffered a dislocated elbow in the first game and missed several games after that.
Senior linebacker Madison Ghormley had a leg injury not related to football and had to miss a couple of games back in August.
However, the Belfry football program has developed depth over the years and they have been able to put someone in those positions when a player gets hurt.
Just recently, after Johnson’s last head injury, fullback Trinity Carr moved to tailback and sophomore Austin Hatfield stepped right in at fullback and gained over 160 yards against Breathitt County and had a great game versus Bourbon County last week.
Senior Josh Robinson has been consistent all season, giving Belfry’s potent running attack several options.
Quarterback Sani Warren, who is also a threat to run the ball, also missed a couple of games during the middle part of the regular season.
”We have had this all year,” said head coach Philip Haywood. “In one way, that has slowed our progress. “
“We haven’t played a game yet with every player on our team being healthy,” he added. “Sometimes that will hurt you, and it did slow our progress in the regular season.”
“But, in the long run, it probably helped us,” Haywood said. “Because we’ve learned to do some different things with different players. Some of them have had to step in and learn some different positions.”
“One thing about it – it doesn’t seem to faze our kids,” Haywood added. “They just keep on playing hard.”
“One thing that has been fairly stable is our defense,” said Haywood. “Our defense and special teams have been solid. We have had to move some kids around on offense.”
“But I’ve been real proud of our kids,” he said. “Some of them have stepped in and played hard and played real well. They have done that all year.”
“I think that is the mark of a mature football team,” Haywood concluded.
Today the Pirates will play for another state title. No matter how the game turns out, Belfry is a respected program in the state of Kentucky.
Year in and year out, they continue to come up with good football teams and talented, developed high school players.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to email@example.com)