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Kentucky will be tough to beat in Hatfield-McCoy Bowl

Kyle Lovern
Civitas News Service

11 months 28 days 2 hours ago |424 Views | | | Email | Print

The Kentucky roster for the annual Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl has a distinct Belfry Pirate flavor.


There will be 12 former Pirates who will strap up the helmets and don the shoulder pads for one more game.


The team is being coached by David Jones, a former Belfry all-state player, who went on to play at the University of Kentucky.


He has recruited several talented players from eastern Kentucky to suit up for the McCoy squad.


“We should be okay,” Jones said of his tentative roster. “A lot of kids will already be going to college by that weekend. So we couldn’t get some kids because of those commitments.”


One player was Belfry all-state tight end/linebacker Tony Messer, who will be heading to Eastern Kentucky University to play this fall.


Jones is being assisted by Erik Rash, Paul Howard, Jr., Jeremy Howard , Derek Rash, Tim McNamee and Adam Warren. Erik Rash will be the defensive coordinator, while Howard will serve as the offensive coordinator.


Leading the way for the defense will be two of Belfry’s top tacklers last season in linebackers Madison Ghormley and Peyton Mullins.


Several of Belfry’s big lineman from last season’s state Class AAA runner-up team will anchor the line. They include James May, Zack Taylor, Derrick Jude, Tuffy Willis, Joe Bucci and Josh Johnson.


Pirate split end Eli Huddle and running back Josh Robinson will help on the offensive side of the football for Jones and his staff. Other Pirates on the Bluegrass roster include cornerback Zach Thacker, split end Nick Bunch and defensive end Zack Francisco.


Wes Pugh, a standout wide receiver and defensive back for Pike Central is on the squad, along with his teammate, offensive line Josh Johnson.


Richard Trent, a quarterback from Breathitt County, should be calling the signals on offense. His teammates Brayton Fugate, Corey Shouse and James Bloomberg will join him.


Two players from the Prestonsburg Blackcats are also on the Kentucky roster. They are Bryson Williamson and Alex Kidd. Both players play on each side of the football. The Ashland Tomcats also have a couple of representatives. They include offensive lineman Braxton Harshaw and running back Malik Massey.


Tyler Hall, a tight end-linebacker from Shelby Valley, Weston Lyle a halfback from South Floyd and Derek Little, a kicker and punter from West Jessamine, will round out the squad.


“We may be picking up a couple of more players,” Jones added. “We have contacted players from East Ridge, Johnson Central and Hazard. We could get a couple more from those schools.”


Jones added that even with this first roster there might be a couple who won’t be able to participate in the game.


“I hope we are competitive,” Jones said. West Virginia rolled in last summer’s game winning by a score of 37-12 and lead the all-time series 11-6.


The 2013 Hatfield-McCoy Senior Bowl will be played at Buck Harless Stadium on Saturday, August 3, starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 and no WVSSAC or KHSAA passes will be accepted.

Reach at or 304-235-4242.

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