High School Football

Friday Night Lens: In Harlan County, it’s ‘good old mountain high school football’

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.

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

Most recently, as part of the ‘Friday Night Lens’ series, Ryan traveled to the heart of Eastern Kentucky to see the Perry County Central Commodores v. the Harlan County Black Bears.

Harlan County opened its doors in 2008, after the consolidation of other area schools.

“This school is our community,” Harlan County principal Kathy Minor said. “I truly feel like now this school represents our community. It’s no longer Evarts or Cumberland or the Cawood area. It’s Harlan County.”

Continue following Ryan’s journey on Twitter.

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Members of the Harlan County football team wait to take the field. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County’s Hunter Blevins gets ready in the locker room. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Fog hangs over Highsplint Lake in Harlan County. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County’s Tyler Flanary runs the balls as Perry County’s Dawson Browning tries to bring him down. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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The Black Bears huddle before a play at Coal Miners’ Memorial Stadium during a game against Perry County on Friday, October 25. The Black Bears won, 49-19. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County cheerleader Baili Boggs, second from left, cheers in the rain. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County players get ready in their locker room before taking on Perry County. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County plays its home football games at Coal Miners’ Memorial Stadium. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Josh Turner, of Harlan County, runs past Perry County defenders. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County High School opened in 2008 after the consolidation of other county schools. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County players and coaches hold hands after beating Perry County. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Rain fell throughout Harlan County’s game against the Commodores. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County’s Jacob Bailey sacks Perry County quarterback Cameron Brown. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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The Black Bears run plays before the start of their game. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Alex Hamilton, of Harlan County, walks out of the locker room before the start of the game. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Fall colors are on display in Harlan County. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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The Black Bears walk past family, friends and supporters before taking the field. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County’s Ben Landis runs the ball en route to a touchdown in a game against the Commodores. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Fans watch Harlan County take on Perry County. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County’s Elisha Smallwood carries the ball as Perry County’s Ben Gambell chases. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County cheerleader Ally Alred performs during a pep assembly. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com

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Harlan County players listen as head coach Eddie Creech speaks to the team following the game. Ryan C. Hermens rhermens@herald-leader.com
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