By: Steve LeMaster
STEARNS – McCreary Central is closing in on its 2017 season opener. The Raiders are prepared to host Perry County Central for a non-district game on Friday night as the 2017 Kentucky high school football season kicks off.
McCreary Central is headed back into district competition. The Raiders ended the 2016 season 7-3 after posting wins over Jenkins, Clinton County, Berea, Sheldon Clark, Pineville, Fort Knox and Thomas Walker, Va. Rejuvenated McCreary Central is poised to compete in Class 3A, District 8, along with Jackson County (2-9), Bell County (4-8), Casey County (10-2) and state title contender Corbin (12-2). After pushing Belfry in the 2016 Class 3A State Semifinals, Corbin is ranked on top of more than one preseason statewide poll.
Leading McCreary Central into the 2017 season is senior running back/defensive back Brandon Troxell. As a junior in 2016, Troxell rushed 170 times for 2,194 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Perry County Central concluded the 2016 season 2-8 and remaining in a rebuilding stage under veteran head coach Tom Larkey. Perry County Central competes in Class 5A, District 8, along with Whitley County, North Laurel, Harlan County and Letcher County Central.
Perry County Central returns nine starters on offense and 10 on defense.The top players back for the Commodores are senior quarterback Jacob Woolum, junior running back Jayden Neace and junior receiver Noah Back.
Perry County central is projected to finish fourth in Class 5A, District 8, behind Harlan County, North Laurel and Whitley County.
Along with Perry County Central, McCreary Central’s 2017 schedule includes South Laurel (home), Clinton County (home), Fort Knox (away), Paul Laurence Dunbar (home), Bell County (home), Corbin (away), Casey County (home), Jackson County (away) and Lynn Camp (away).
McCreary Central head coach Lucas Ford, his coaching staff and players are eager to kick off the 2017 season.
“We did everything we could do during the offseason and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in our team,” Ford commented. “The kids have responded well and everyone is excited about the season.”
Kickoff for the McCreary Central-Perry County Central football game is set for 7:30 p.m.