GOODY, Ky. – If you would have told Belfry coach Philip Haywood back in August that he would be undefeated at 7-0 at this point in the season he would have strongly disagreed.
But, after several tough road games, including a win in Knoxville (Christian Academy), Tennessee last Friday night, the Pirates have an unblemished record heading into Friday night’s contest against Lawrence County (6-2) at CAM Stadium.
“To be honest, no, we had no idea where we would be at this point. That’s because we knew it would be a long process and it would take a little while for us to get things together,” Haywood said. “We had talked earlier about some of our graduation losses. We are pleasantly surprised. Our kids have played hard and things have just fallen into place.”
“They’ve made plays at the right time – so we are pleased with that,” he added.
Belfry also has notable road wins over Harlan County and Southwestern (Pulaski County), both big 5A schools.
As usual, Haywood is still not entirely happy with the way his young team has played at certain points in the game.
“At the same time we are not even close to realizing our potential,” Haywood stressed. “We graded our film and by the time we got done – we were shaking our heads and asking how did we win?”
“We are making numerous mistakes and not doing things cohesively,” Haywood added. “We’ll hit a spot here and do a few things right – then the next thing we will have somebody not doing what they are supposed to do.”
“We have not put it altogether yet. We are not yet where we need to be,” Haywood said.
Belfry has had several injuries to some skill players the last couple of weeks, but their depth has really paid off.
Last week senior Davontae Dari stepped in to the tailback spot and had a career game. Several freshmen have already gotten significant playing time and have contributed to the Pirate wins this year.
“We’ve had a few guys banged up. We were getting along pretty good then all of a sudden – bam – we were hit with some injuries,” Haywood said. “But those things happen.”
Haywood said some of those players who have been watching from the sidelines will be back in action this week. Junior running back Austin Hatfield should be ready to go this week.
Belfry will honor the 2003 state championship team on Friday night. That squad won the first title in school history.
For many it is hard to believe that it has been 10 years since that championship season.
Haywood wants to get the word out to any member of that Belfry High School 2003 Class AA State Championship football team. They will be recognized at the Belfry versus Lawrence County game on Friday. There will be a reception for all members of the team prior to the game in the cafeteria at 6:00 p.m. Introductions will be made during halftime. All members are encouraged to spread the word to their teammates. For additional information call Coach Haywood or Coach Anthony Tackett at 606-237-3900.
“That was our first state championship and that was a very special group of young men,” Haywood said. “Hopefully we will have a good turnout.”