The Belfry Pirates football and basketball teams have lost a starting player due to transfer in what has become a common trend in high school sports all over the country.
According to multiple sources, starting Belfry defensive back Isaiah Birchfield and starting point guard Dezmon Roblee have transferred to Mingo Central to play for the Miners.
Birchfield started in all 13 games for the Pirates a season ago at one of the cornerback positions and finished second on the team in interceptions with three.
He finished his junior season with 64 total tackles but was second on the team in solo tackles with 32, which means he is a threat against the run game and the pass game. He also had two tackles for loss in 2018.
During his sophomore season he played sparingly but still made 32 tackles, including 15 of the solo variety.
Birchfield is also expected to contribute on the offensively for the Miners after not being giving many opportunities on that side of the ball for the Pirates over the past three years. He had three receptions for 34 yards and a touchdown in 2018 while also carrying the ball only five times for 38 yards.
During his freshman season, he ran the ball 12 times for 104 yards and scored two touchdowns. He did not get any touches offensively his sophomore season.
The Pirates and legendary coach Philip Haywood of course feature a heavy run attack as they run the triple-option, while Mingo Central and second year coach Josh Sammons features a spread attack and slings the ball all over the field.
For comparisons sake, Avery Browning completed 28 of 38 passes for the Pirates in 2018 for 747 yards and 13 touchdowns while quarterback Daylin "Day Day" Goad put up astronomical numbers in his first season as a starter for the Miners and completed 189 of 273 passes for 3,266 yards and 46 touchdowns.
On the flipside, the Pirates rushed for 4,226 yards and 54 touchdowns in 2018, while the Miners ran for 1,798 yards and 23 touchdowns.
Both the Pirates and the Miners are expected to challenge for a state title in their respective classes.
Roblee comes to the Miners after being the starting point guard for coach Mark Thompson the past two seasons. He was the leading scorer on a team that went 8-22 this past season, as he averaged exactly 10 points per game and was named to the All-District Team at seasons end.
Roblee was able to get to the rim at will against 15th region competition, which is evident by his 156 free throw attempts which was first on the team. He struggled with his shot a bit, however this past season hitting 100-156 shots at the line for 64.1% and 12-78 from three point range good for 15.4 percent.
Assists are not kept on the KHSAA website like points and rebounds but he was also the Pirates leading assist man for the past two seasons easily averaging more than six a game.
Roblee will add plenty of ball handling and experience to coach Stan Elkins club, who will also welcome back the services of Drew and Devin Hatfield after the pair played for Logan in the 2018-19 hoops season.
The Miners are looking to improve on their 3-20 mark from a season ago in the first season of the Elkins era.
The WDN has reported on several transfers in the area just this summer alone and readers can expect to hear more regarding transfers in the future, as it is a growing trend across high school sports.
Jarrid McCormick is a sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.