Rain, snow and ice are in the forecast for Bowling Green this weekend, so weather could be a factor in the Russell Athletic/KHSAA state football championships.
Not that the six title games — three on Friday and three on Saturday — need sloppy, slippery or cold conditions to make them more eye-catching.
The storylines include:
■ Highlands, which plays Collins in the Class 4A finals, is seeking its seventh consecutive championship and 23rd overall. The Bluebirds crushed Collins 47-0 in last year's finals, giving Dale Mueller a state-record 11 titles.
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■ Bowling Green, which faces Pulaski County in the 5A finals, is trying for a third consecutive undefeated state championship. The Purples' 43-game winning streak is the third longest in state history. Bowling Green star Nacarius Fant can further burnish his Mr. Football credentials.
■ No Trinity. No St. Xavier. No big-city schools. Scott County and Meade County will play for the 6A title. This is only the second time in the history of the playoffs that two county schools have met in the big-school finals. Shelby County beat Boone County for the 4A title in 1987.
■ Mayfield, which takes on Williamsburg in the 1A title game, is in the finals for the fifth year in a row. If Mayfield wins, Coach Joe Morris will have four titles, matching the number his dad, Jack Morris, had as Cardinals coach.
■ Newport Central Catholic, which goes against DeSales in the 2A finals, is trying to win its third title in four years. Dan Wagner is in his first year as the Thoroughbreds' coach after a long stint as an assistant.
■ Belfry, which plays Wayne County for the 3A crown, is in the finals for the fourth year in a row, and the fifth time in seven years. In the previous four appearances, the Pirates lost to Central. Belfry Coach Philip Haywood, the state's all-time winningest coach (375 victories), is trying for his third title.
■ Pulaski County, Wayne County and Williamsburg are in the finals for the first time.
"It's been a special season," Pulaski County Coach Johnny Hines said. "We're happy and proud to be going to Bowling Green.
Hines knows his undefeated Maroons are a huge underdog against the hometown Purples. "We've got to play the best game we've played all year, and hope they turn the ball over and don't play well," he said.
Wayne County Coach Shawn Thompson, whose team went on the road to beat defending champ Central and Paducah Tilghman the past two weeks, is trying to keep his players calm amid the excitement.
"They've been unbelievably determined and focused through this playoff run," Thompson said. "We're asking them each and every day to stay level-headed and not get caught up in the hype. We've got one more to go."
Williamsburg Coach Jerry Herron said, "It's been crazy around here. We've been playing football for 70 years, and we're finally getting a chance to play for a state championship."
Keeping an eyeon the weather
The KHSAA is monitoring the weather situation and how it might impact the football championships.
The KHSAA announced Thursday morning that Friday's Class A finals (noon, EST) and 3A finals (4 p.m.) will be played as scheduled. A decision will be made by Friday at 10 a.m. on the rest of the title games.
Schedule of games
At WKU's L.T. Smith Stadium(All times Eastern)
Class A: Mayfield (13-1) vs. Williamsburg (11-2), noon
Class 3A: Belfry (13-1) vs. Wayne County (14-0), 4 p.m.
Class 6A: Scott Co. (14-0) vs. Meade Co. (12-2), 8 p.m.
Previews of Friday's games appear on Page B4.
Class 2A: DeSales (13-1) vs. Newport Central Catholic (10-4), noon
Class 4A: Highlands (13-1) vs. Collins (12-2), 4 p.m.
Class 5A: Bowling Green (13-0) vs. Pulaski Co. (14-0), 8 p.m.
Tickets: $25, $15 and $11 Radio: WVLK-FM 101.5
Kentucky.com: Staff writer Mike Fields will be in Bowling Green both days providing live coverage on Twitter @MikeFieldsNotes and on his blog at Kentucky.com.
Video: KHSAA.org will have live video of every game.