Darren Doyle, story and photos:
There will be several changes at Wildcat Stadium this year as Edmonson County gets set to begin their new football season, including a new press box and home seating, new goal posts, and a brand new quarterback. Also absent will be around 80% of last year's offense, according to coach Nathan Smith, who enters his third season as Wildcat head coach.
"Last year's group was a special group for me because that was a tight-knit group of kids," said Smith. "We switched some things up and you're going to see some different things, but I think we have a core group of leaders coming back, some of those guys on our offensive line."
Leading that line is senior Logan Hagan, who Smith said just measured in at 6'6" and 330lbs.
"He's actually down about 30lbs from last season and he's feeling pretty good," said Smith. "Being hurt last year set him back a little, but he's worked hard. You don't see too many of his size in high school. We look for him to have a big year and hopefully look at playing at the next level."
Smith also said the team will rely on returning running back Kenny Logsdon for offense as well as twin brothers Jonathan and James Hollis.
One of the biggest differences fans will likely notice is a new quarterback, which is sophomore John Smith.
"He loves to throw deep and he's done really well so far. He's gotten stronger. He's around 6'1" and 180 pounds, so we'll see how things work out."
Smith said district play will likely have a similar look to last season with Elizabethtown being favored. Larue County will look to replace 26 departed seniors from last year while Hart and Adair Counties round out the district.
Coach Smith also said that he's continuing to settle into his role as head coach and is looking forward to this season.
"I was really overwhelmed in my first year," he said with a laugh. "There were plenty of things I didn't expect, but last year was a little easier as things got into a better flow, and this summer has been great. It's definitely been my favorite summer so far and hopefully that's a good sign for things to come this season."
The Wildcats will host Allen County in a scrimmage game at home this Thursday, August 9, at 6pm. They open their regular season on the road for the first two games of the year, first at Caverna on August 17th, then Butler County the following week on August 24th. They are scheduled to have their first regular home season game on August 31st against rival Grayson County. Game times will be at 7pm. The WildcatsLive-Edmonson Voice Crew will carry the live broadcasts of each game.