Blackcats set to host Somerset in region title game

STEVE LeMASTER slemaster@civitasmedia.com

November 22, 2013

PRESTONSBURG - If you counted these Blackcats out, shame on you. After opening the season 1-4 and finishing regular-season play with a 5-5 record, Prestonsburg is 7-5 and set to host Somerset in the Class 2A, Region 4 championship game.

The Blackcats, following an opening round win over Lexington Christian, battled back to beat Danville last week.

Somerset’s postseason trek to the region title game started in Floyd County as the Briar Jumpers knocked off Betsy Layne in the opening round of the Class 2A State Playoffs.

The Briar Jumpers pulled off an upset in the second round by beating district rival Middlesboro in overtime.

Prestonsburg is just two games away from having an opportunity to play for a state title and fans are rallying behind the Blackcats.

The winner of the Prestonsburg-Somerset game will meet the winner of the Newport Central Catholic-Gallatin County game on the road in Northern Kentucky on Friday, Nov. 29.

“We have been treated so nice by all the fans and businesses in our great town of Prestonsburg,” Prestonsburg Coach John DeRossett confided. “Our team is young and has never experienced this kind of excitement about football. Whether you play football or not, we feel like all our students, staff members at Prestonsburg High School and members of our community are part of this team effort. We appreciate them supporting us in the stands and decorating their business locations with encouraging words. We play the game but they are the ones who give you that push to play a little harder every Friday night.”

The Prestonsburg football program held a bonfire on Wednesday night and businesses throughout the city are showing their support for the Blackcats. Prestonsburg assistant coach Donnie Ray has cutouts numbers of players on his lawn along with other signs and banners. The Prestonsburg High School art department made a banner that reads “Welcome to the Burg.”

“I’m glad that our football town is excited about football,” Ray said.

Blackcat Football fans are encouraged to turn out early for the region title contest. Kickoff for the Prestonsburg-Somerset football game is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday night.

“While the team’s focus is the game, all the great activities this week should be experienced by young people in communities throughout the USA,” DeRossett added. “We live in a fast-pace technological world but to me there is nothing better than a little team who is not supposed to win that has success and then has the whole community get behind them. Pep rallies, bonfires, cookouts, after game socials at First Baptist (Spectaculars) and the school song are things that I hope never leave our culture in America. From the bottom of our hearts, our team, school and parents truly thank everyone for their outpouring of support and ask them to say a prayer for our team as we face the biggest challenge of the season - the regional championship game versus the Somerset Briar Jumpers. Also, hats off to our school. We are accomplishing outstanding things in the classroom and extra-curricular activities of all kinds - academic team and honor choir, just to mention a few. I also want to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving season and hopefully we will be playing next week, giving thanks and eating turkey and dressing and then having a Merry Christmas!”