|New Rebel skipper will face brutal schedule for ’13 season
|Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 7:00 pm
|By MIKE HUTCHENS
Messenger Sports Editor
Nobody said it’d be easy.
New Obion County Central head football coach Kevin Goltra will encounter one of the toughest schedules in the state when he begins his tenure next fall on the Rebel sideline.
Goltra, a former defensive coordinator at OCCHS but most recently the head coach at Kenwood, has taken over a program that went 2-8 in 2012 and will inherit a slate made out by Shawn Jackson before his resignation that includes eight teams that made the playoffs last season.
Among that lot is two programs — Milan (3A) and Huntingdon (1A) — that finished as state runners-up and with 12-3 worksheets in their respective classifications last fall and another, (Dresden, 11-2 in 2A) that made the semifinals.
The collective record this past season of the teams on Central’s 2013 schedule is 76-42 — a winning percentage of .644.
“It’s a tough schedule, no doubt,” Goltra — who is still teaching at Kenwood — told the Messenger earlier this week. “The district, even without Covington and a couple of others, is tough enough. And even though we’re a 4A school playing a couple of teams in smaller classifications, they’re two of the best 1A and 2A programs in the state.
“I’m just anxious to get there and get started, though. We’ve got a lot of work to do in the program.”
OC will open the Goltra era with a Saturday night Week 0 game at home vs. Huntingdon on Aug. 24.
The Rebs’ other non-district opposition will be Dresden, Chester County, Calloway County (Ky.) and Memphis Frayser. Frayser replaced East Hickman on the originally-released schedule after the Lions pulled out of a two-year home-and-home contract. The Memphians will come to Troy in both 2013 and ’14.
A realigned 13AA circuit is now void of Covington, Haywood and Ripley and includes Milan, Dyersburg, Crockett County, Westview and South Gibson.
Both Union City and South Fulton have also finalized their schedules for the next two seasons.
The Tornadoes, 7-4 last year, will continue their rivalry with Huntingdon and will also play non-district games against Dresden and McKenzie in addition to their 14A slate.
The addition of Gibson County will give UC seven league games.
Union City’s future opponent list includes six teams that made the postseason a year ago, that group combining for a 55-60 (.478) record.
The Twisters — who’ve made it to Round 2 in four of Darren Bowling’s five years at the head coaching helm — are the lone entry of Obion County’s three teams to not play a Week 0 game.
They’ll open their campaign by hosting McKenzie on Aug. 30.
On paper, new South Fulton head coach Eric Knott has the most friendly future slate.
The Red Devils, coming off a disappointing 3-7 last season that contributed to Kelly Spivey’s resigning his duties in charge of the program, will play four teams next fall that had just one victory in 2012 and another that went winless.
Non-district games vs. Bruceton, Fulton County and Fulton City — which went a collective 3-28 last season — round out a schedule made out by Spivey before he stepped down.
There is quality in a 14A lineup that includes Trenton, Humboldt, Union City and Lake County along with Halls, which went 6-6 a year ago and made it to the second round of the playoffs.
Despite the group’s collective record of 37-72 (.339) a year ago, seven of those teams qualified for the postseason.
SF will play its first game under Knott’s direction on Aug. 23 at Bruceton.
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by email at email@example.com. Published in The Messenger 1.10.13