High School Football

Friday Night Lens: ‘Football is life here in Breathitt County’

Friday Night Lens: ‘You can’t go anywhere in Jackson without them talking about Breathitt Co. football’

Throughout the 2019 season, Herald-Leader photographer Ryan C. Hermens will be capturing the relationship between community and high school football in Eastern and Central Kentucky. This week: South Laurel vs. Breathitt County in Jackson.
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Throughout the 2019 season, Herald-Leader photographer Ryan C. Hermens will be capturing the relationship between community and high school football in Eastern and Central Kentucky. This week: South Laurel vs. Breathitt County in Jackson.

More from the series


Exploring Kentucky with Friday Night Lens

Click below to view previous installments of visual journalist Ryan C. Hermens’ series looking at high school football and its impact on communities around Kentucky.


Throughout this fall, Herald-Leader visual journalist Ryan C. Hermens is venturing around Kentucky to capture how high school football brings communities together.

Most recently, Ryan traveled to Jackson to capture the South Laurel Cardinals vs. the Breathitt County Bobcats on Friday, Aug. 30.

“If you blink, you’re going to miss Jackson,” Breathitt County alumnus Jamie Watkins said. “If you blink on a Friday night, you’re going to miss something awesome.”

The Bobcats defeated the Cardinals 48-3.

Ryan’s next Friday Night Lens trip will be on Sept. 13. If you have suggestions of games that carry a vibrant atmosphere, connecting football and community, email Ryan at rhermens@herald-leader.com.

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The Breathitt County Bobcats wait for the start of their first home game of the season. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Members of the Breathitt High cheerleading team perform. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Matt Dixon gives William Ritchie a haircut at his barbershop in downtown Jackson Friday, Aug. 30. “It’s been the heart of the community for many years,” Dixon said about the Breathitt County football team. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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The Breathitt County Bobcats, including Bryce Hoskins, with hand up, a freshman tight end and linebacker, walk out of their locker room before taking the field for their game against South Laurel Friday, Aug. 30, in Jackson. The Bobcats won, 43-8. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Fog sits above Panbowl Lake in Jackson Friday, Aug. 30. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Fans fill the stands at the Mike Holcomb Athletic Complex as the Bobcats take on the South Laurel Cardinals in Jackson Friday, Aug. 30. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Breathitt County quarterback Braxton Ohara keeps South Laurel linebacker Dominic Snyder back as he runs the ball during a game Friday, Aug. 30. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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The Bobcats take the field in their game against South Laurel as the sun sets. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Breathitt County’s Damon Neace, a senior lineman, prepares for the start of Friday’s game against South Laurel. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Members of the Breathitt High Army JROTC program practice carrying a giant U.S. flag onto the field before the start of Friday’s game. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Breathitt County defeated South Laurel 43-8 in the Honey Bowl at the Mike Holcomb Athletic Complex. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Dusk settles in along Armory Drive in Jackson Thursday, Aug. 29. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Breathitt County’s Charles Collins talks to his teammates in the locker room before taking on South Laurel. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Spectators watch as the Bobcats warm up Friday, Aug. 30. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Night falls on the Mike Holcomb Athletic Complex during Friday’s game. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Zyanna Gay, an eighth grader, waits to take the field with the Breathitt High School marching band. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Breathitt County players perform drills while warming up for their game against the Cardinals. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Dusk falls over Jackson, the county seat of Breathitt County, Thursday, Aug. 29. About 13,000 people live in Breathitt County, with around 2,300 calling Jackson home. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Because the stadium PA system was down, Jarrod “J-Rod” Neace uses the loud speaker on a police cruiser to announce the MVPs of the Honey Bowl. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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