More from the series
2019 Kentucky high school football preview
The 2019 high school football season kicks off Friday, Aug. 23. New high school sports beat writer Jared Peck is rolling out several stories over the next two weeks in the Herald-Leader and on Kentucky.com previewing the season around the city, region and state and highlighting the top players and games. Click below to read all of his previous stories.
Each week, Kentucky high school football has too many great matchups to count.
This year, the Herald-Leader is breaking down great games by class. Here are some of the top matchups we’ve circled involving Class 2A teams each week of the 2019 season. They focus on teams in the Herald-Leader’s preseason top 10 and others receiving votes in our @HLpreps annual coaches survey.
Week 1 (Friday, Aug. 23)
Christian County at No. 6 Caldwell County: The Tigers have tested their bonafides opening against their bigger Class 5A neighbor each season since 2013, having won the first two of those including a wild 78-57 victory led by future Purdue QB Elijah Sindelar.
Lloyd Memorial at No. 8 Walton-Verona: The Juggernauts have not had a losing season since 2011 and received votes in the @HLpreps preseason top 10 coaches’ survey. If you like smash-mouth football, Walton-Verona rushed for 3,016 yards last year using four primary ball-carriers.
Week 2 (Friday, Aug. 30)
No. 3 Lexington Christian at Belfry: When the Herald-Leader preseason Class 3A rankings come out, Belfry will be near the top of the list. It faces an experienced Eagles squad looking to prove it’s among the best in the state in the Pike County Bowl.
No. 2 Beechwood vs. Paintsville (at Georgetown College): Maybe Class A No. 4 Paintsville missed having Beechwood in its own division. Regardless, Central Kentucky gets a close-up of two great Eastern Kentucky programs. Paintsville features linebacker Jaylyn Allen, a UK recruit.
Week 3 (Friday, Sept. 6)
Boyle County at No. 4 Danville: Ask just about anyone and they’ll tell you this is the best small-town rivalry in Kentucky (We know. We’ve asked). The Rebels look to be among the title favorites in Class 4A with Division I commits in Landen Bartleson (Notre Dame) and Reese Smith (West Virginia) and pose a stiff challenge to a young Admirals team.
No. 2 Beechwood at No. 5 Somerset: Here you have what could be a playoff preview and a test of whether Beechwood really is ready for Class 2A’s best.
Week 4 (Friday, Sept. 13)
Madison Central at No. 3 Lexington Christian: If the Eagles survive their regular season, they’ll be battle tested for the playoffs. Madison Central is among the top teams in Class 6A.
Corbin at No. 2 Beechwood: The Tigers also never shy from big teams from bigger classes as is the case with one of 4A’s top teams, the Redhounds who have back the state’s leading pass rusher Ethan Wine and his ridiculous 21 sacks from 2018.
Honorable mention: Newport Central Catholic at No. 8 Walton-Verona.
Week 5 (Friday, Sept. 20)
Lexington Catholic at No. 3 Lexington Christian: Knights quarterback Beau Allen, a Kentucky commit, is 1-1 in this private school rivalry. The Eagles dropped them 56-36 in 2017. Wonder if he remembers.
Week 6 (Friday, Sept. 27)
Russellville at No. 5 Somerset and Williamsburg at No. 3 Lexington Christian: Two Class A teams with visions of playoff glory face road tests against two of Class 2A’s best.
Week 7 (Friday, Oct. 4)
No. 1 Mayfield at No. 6 Caldwell County: Now a District 1 battle, these two teams were already regulars on each others schedules despite being in different classes. The Cardinals lead the series 8-2 since 2009. The last time they lost to the Tigers in 2013, Mayfield went on to win the state title.
Week 8 (Friday, Oct. 11)
Martin County at Shelby Valley: For the uninitiated, Martin County is the new name of the old Sheldon Clark High School and both the Cardinals (it kept its mascot) and the Wildcats were among “others receiving votes” in the @HLpreps coaches’ poll.
No. 4 Danville at No. 5 Somerset: Have we mentioned that District 4 with five top-five teams and a tough Washington County squad is ridiculous?
Week 9 (Friday, Oct. 18)
No. 5 Somerset at No. 3 Lexington Christian: See above. And don’t forget that the new playoff system means we could see this game replayed in Round 1.
No. 6 Caldwell County at No. 9 Murray: Ditto.
Week 10 (Friday, Oct. 25)
No. 9 Murray at No. 1 Mayfield: Murray has a good team and has fielded some really good teams over the years, but the Tigers are winless against Mayfield in 22 tries since 1998 losing twice to the Cardinals in a single year five times, including 2018.
No. 4 Danville at No. 3 Lexington Christian: Now comes the question of how much do these teams show each other and how much does home field in the first two rounds mean to the other since these two teams might meet again inside three weeks.
Week 11 (Friday, Nov. 1)
Newport Central Catholic at No. 2 Beechwood: These two teams have essentially swapped roles in their respective districts and classes. A five-time Class 2A champion going to a 14-time Class A champ from the same area seems fun. The Tigers are 7-3 against NCC the last 10 years and have won the last five in a row.