Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 16, 2012

Fairview looks to claim elusive region title

WESTWOOD — Fairview coach Nathan McPeek must have a sense of deja vu.

For the third straight year, the Eagles will compete for the Class A Region 4 title when they travel to Pikeville tonight.

And while he feels the Eagles have grown from playing in these games, he knows his team needs to finally bring home a title.

“It’s great for your program to get to be in this game three years in a row,” McPeek said. “But at the same time we need to win one of these, too.”

This is only the second meeting between Pikeville and Fairview, with the first coming in last year’s region championship game. Pikeville won at Fairview 20-18.

And while the only thing that looked like it changed is the location, Pikeville coach Chris McNamee said his team’s preception of themselves also changed this year.

“Last year I thought we expected to be in the region championship,” McNamee said. “The way things went in the early part of the year it really didn’t look like we would get here.”

Pikeville started the season 1-5, including a four-game losing streak in the middle of the season, but hasn’t lost since.

The Panthers’ six-game winning streak, which featured an undefeated district season, has McPeek and Fairview wary.

Especially after Pikeville lost to Raceland 54-14 during the third week of the season, only to rebound and defeat them in second round of the playoffs last week 26-20.

“We’ll have our hands full,” McPeek said. “Anytime you erase a 40-point loss earlier in the year and win a playoff game, it’s always a credit to the staff and kids and how they improved.”

McNamee agrees that it’s been a weird season with both highs and lows.

“It’s been a real roller coaster ride for us,” McNamee said. “We got beat by some good football teams early and I thought it would be tough for our team to get through. Getting through the district without a loss and then winning in the playoffs was huge. I’m just so proud of my guys.”

Pikeville has been led by junior running back Chase Hall.

Hall has carried the ball 111 times this season for 1,089 yards and 16 touchdowns. The second-most total carries by a Pikeville player is just 30.

“Chase is the only guy we run the ball a lot with,” McNamee said. “And he’s accepted that role. Against those early teams he had a tough go at it. But he’s kept growing as running back for us.”

Other than Hall, who is more of a big, bruising type of back, the rest of Pikeville’s team is fast.

In fact one thing McPeek has tried to practice for is finding ways to combat the Panthers’ speed on the field.

“It’s going to come down to three things,” McPeek said. “It’s simple — blocking, tackling and turnovers. If we don’t turn the ball over and we tackle well and we block well, we’ll have a good chance.”

McNamee knows for his team to have a shot they have to somehow control Fairview’s three-headed backfield of Devon Turner, Chris Brewer and Elijah King.

Together the three running backs have combined for 3,417 yards rushing and 52 touchdowns on the ground.

“That’s what they do, spread you out and have the big bruiser Brewer come at you up the middle,” McNamee said. “Then you have King on one side and you have Turner on the other, and both have great speed and can make things happen in the open field.”

For Turner, Brewer and a few other seniors, last year they were close to winning Fairview’s first region championship, but fell by two points.

Tonight will be their last chance to bring the school that elusive title, and McPeek said it will all come down to a sense of urgency.

“There better be a sense of urgency because if there is not, I have to question why we’re out here doing this,” he said. “We talked about that at practice. We talked about having a sense of urgency and doing what we’re supposed to do. Hopefully we come out and execute.”

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.


Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014

  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo