HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Hornets turn focus to off-season

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SALYERSVILLE - During his first season as head coach of the Magoffin County football program, Justin Combs guided the Hornets to two wins. After suffering a loss on the road to West Carter in a regular season finale, Magoffin County has turned its focus to the off-season.  

Combs took over the Magoffin County football team shortly before the squad kicked off its 2016 season. The Hornets ended the 2016 season 2-8. 

Players set to return to the gridiron in 2017 and who aren’t busy with another sport have started weightlifting as part of their off-season training. 

Magoffin County notched wins over Betsy Layne and Class 3A, District 7 rival Morgan County during the 2016 season. The Hornets suffered losses to Leslie County, Estill County, Shelby Valley, Pike County Central, Knott County Central, Breathitt County, Powell County and West Carter. 

After opening the season 0-3, Magoffin County claimed back-to-back wins over Betsy Layne and border foe Morgan County. 

Opponents outscored the Hornets 402-214 during the recently completed campaign. But Magoffin County showed improvement throughout the campaign. After being held scoreless in two of its first three games, Magoffin County fared well offensively over a six-game stretch. 

West Carter pulled away to beat the Hornets 43-6 in a regular season finale on October 28. 

Ryan Mullins, Nolan Arnett, Brady Whitaker and Matthew Watkins are among the top players due back for the Hornets in the 2017 season. 

The Hornets will have the opportunity to put in some work during spring practice in 2017. Magoffin County will start preseason practice some time in July. 

Magoffin County will finalize and release its 2017 schedule later in the off-season.


photo courtesy of Beverly Bush

Magoffin County’s James Hall (69) and Travis Gibson (36) combined to make a tackle on a Betsy Layne ball carrier.