Kentucky consists of about 40,000 square miles. For this particular exercise, let’s look at Boyd and Johnson counties, from which both Ashland and Paintsville hail.

Now, for the sake of fairness, take Boyd plus its bordering Kentucky counties and do the same for Johnson. So, again, for this exercise, we’re taking the square mileage sum of Boyd, Greenup, Carter, Lawrence, Johnson, Elliott, Magoffin, Floyd, Morgan and Martin.

According to Index Mundi, which breaks the state down by county square mileage, the sum of those counties’ square mileage is 3,138 — 7.8% of the state’s total area.

So, 33% of the six state football champions represented 7.8% of the state.

Way to go, Tomcats and Tigers! That’s how you go to Lexington and represent Northeastern Kentucky.

They didn’t do so with drama, either. They did so with dominance.

Paintsville crushed Kentucky Country Day, 38-7, on Friday in the Class A finals. Ashland shellacked Elizabethtown, 35-14, on Saturday in the Class 3A championship at the University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field.

The other four champions — Bowling Green (5A), Trinity (6A), Beechwood (2A) and Boyle County (4A) — are from the western, Louisville, northern and central areas, respectively.

No area was represented better than northeastern Kentucky. Our little corner of the commonwealth is saturated with athletic talent, and it’s only getting stronger.

Congratulations, Paintsville, for hoisting the trophy for the first time in your program’s 100-year history. The #wenotme mantra has worked out rather well under the tutelage of Joe Chirico.

Congratulations, Ashland, for bringing home yet another title — the first in 30 years and the first under coach Tony Love, who has joined a group of elite coaches in Ashland football lore. Assistant Chad Tackett posted a photo of the trophy sitting on Putnam Stadium’s A on Facebook. It looked at home.

As we turn the page to 2021, 2020 will be forgotten for a plethora of reasons, but 2020 will always be remembered in the homes of so many football families in Ashland and Paintsville. Enjoy this special moment. We know we have.

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