Coach Moore took time to Update Bobcat Nation on the upcoming season.
JACKSON – May 2, 2020 – ROB HOUNSHELL
As I read columns and articles about shut downs, cancellations, and postponements, I can’t help but try and be optimistic about the upcoming Breathitt High School and Lumberjack Football Seasons. Usually spring brings about questions like, “What dates can we have Lumberjack Football camp?” “When is the High School team gonna start spring workouts?” However, Spring of 2020 has brought about what -if’s and mental anguish about whether or not we will even be allowed to get our young student athletes together, even under special circumstances.
One can only guess what KHSAA will do. With the announcement earlier this week of the extension of the “Dead Period”, football will not be able to get started any time soon, and the body will most certainly follow suit of the decision making administration of KEA based on the ultimate recommendations from Governor Beshear. There are speculations flying everywhere that political pressure will aid in these decisions, but we can only hope that factors come into play, such as vaccines or breakthroughs, that allow our students, and lives, to get back to normal.
Coach Kenneth “Shorty” Combs is chomping at the bit, as usual, and wanting to talk to others about schedules for our Lumberjacks. In reality, the Lumberjacks schedule is full of teams that are school-supported. Tentatively, things like schedule making can go on, but some program coordinators won’t even talk about a schedule for youth programs right now, mainly because they don’t know when schools will be in session. It’s a waiting game.
I could not imagine the stress of dealing with a high school program right now. I mean a coach needs to know what his “boys” are doing in the off season and pre-season. Not to mention, the behind the scenes work it takes to prepared a program like the Breathitt Bobcats.
So I wanted to check in on our friend and Breathitt Head Coach, Kyle Moore, the 2019 Class AA Coach of the Year. To do so, I did practice mandated “social distancing” and email Coach Moore some questions to see if we could pry into what his routine is like during this Covid-19 slow down. Not only is this an opportunity to talk to Coach Moore, but an opportunity to hear about the team and get our minds on something other than the ongoings of life.
Coach, how has your schedule changed as Athletic Director and as Head Football Coach since the Corona virus outbreak?
It has changed quite a bit. One of the biggest things is not getting to see our players at school. As far as all the other Athletics I have had to be way more dependent on technology. We have had to move all meetings to a virtual venue. Communications have all been over the phone and through email.
How are you staying in touch with players?
Through phone calls, emails, and messaging mostly. We are beginning to have virtual meetings to talk about some things that we can be doing and to also check in on how they are doing.
Can you share any insights on how some players continue to prepare for the upcoming season at home since they aren’t in school?
Each of our players were given a workout that they can do even if they don’t have weights to lift. It is a lot of stuff that we use to do on our own like push-up, sit-ups, body weight squats. Kids are always creative and one advantage that they have that we didn’t is the internet. They have all sorts of resources at their disposal.
Do you have any coaching changes or additions to your staff?
It will be very similar to our staff last year. There is always a tweek here or there in our program based on what we feel is needed. I think that’s what makes our program special. We have the best collection of coaches from 3rd-12th grade. Guys that are all about Breathitt and willing to do whatever it takes to make this program great.
Where do you have returning players that you feel will be a strength on this season’s team?
Several places I feel we will be strong.
Offensive Line – Connor Deaton, Teegan Smith and Will Long, return with several guys that are capable of stepping up. Our Sophomore Class is very talented in this department.
Versitility – Jaylen Turner, Braxton O’Hara, and Lane Weddle are three of the best athletes in our area. Also great leaders.
Kicking Game – Lane Weddle makes such a huge difference in our team with the ability to kick/punt the ball.
At what positions will Bobcat fans see some new faces on the field?
I’m looking for several guys to step up into bigger roles this year. They have developed their bodies and matured into guys that are ready to step up. Colton Herald, Jake Strong are two guys that have worked very hard. Bryce Hoskins is another one with lots of potential. Blake Richie and Bradley Hall could player bigger roles this year along with several other talented underclassmen and incoming freshman. Not really a new face but Ethan Gibson has really worked hard in the weight room this offseason. I look for big things from him.
Please tell us any other comments about the abbreviated school year, the upcoming football season, or any other information you’d like to share with the Bobcat fans and BSN nation.
I am just so excited to back to football. Our program is headed for great things. 2019 was a Great year 13-1, Regional Champions, and coming up a little short in the semi-finals to the State Champion. I am Thankful to a very special group of seniors that poured their hearts and souls into that Bobcat Uniform.
Thanks again to Coach Moore, for giving us this opportunity to think about next season’s Bobcat team. Let’s as coaches, administrators, parents, fans, and players all hope for a new normal that includes fall sports, lights on Friday night, and the opportunity for these players to walk back out on the Mike Holcomb Athletic Complex field. Let’s “Believe” that our Bobcats will be in full force very soon!
Rob Hounshell is a Breathitt County Alum and a member of the Bobcat’s first State Championship team in 1995. Rob is a Coach with the NorthFork Lumberjacks and currently works for the University of Kentucky and is color commentator on BSN Breathitt Football Webcasts and columnist for BSN.