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SHEPHERDSVILLE - After four ‘practice’ games, the Bullitt Central Cougars will start playing for keeps this week when they travel into Louisville to take on district rival Waggener.
There was a time in the late 90s when Waggener and Bullitt Central were district rivals, but that has not been the case in recent years. Now, this is the first district game for both teams after Bullitt Central dropped down to Class 5-A for this season and created the five-team district.
The Wildcats are not the most challenging team in the district. In fact, Waggener has one of the state’s longest losing streaks as that mark now stands at 17 games following last week’s 23-9 loss to North Bullitt. The Wildcats have not won since beating Iroquois 21-20 back on Oct. 19, 2007.
The game will be homecoming at Waggener.
“This is a district game for both teams,” Bullitt Central head coach Danny Leasor said on Tuesday of this week. “There are five teams in the district (and four make the play-offs)so somebody has to sit, so it’s an important game.”
Waggener does have some shortcomings, but they have enough fast athletes to make a coach nervous.
“We have to go out and take care of business,” Leasor said. “They are a lot like Southern, but unlike that game, we need to go out and score every time we get an opportunity.
“They have just enough speed to keep you on your toes,” the coach added. “They have enough athletes to give you a hard time. They have four or five really good looking kids.”
So far, the Wildcats have not put it all together. Besides the loss to North Bullitt, Waggener fell to Oldham County 39-7, Jeffersontown 33-12 and in overtime lost to South Oldham 22-16. The win by South Oldham snapped a 19-game losing streak for the Dragons.
Leading the Wildcats is junior quarterback Shazzon Mumphrey. He started the season at wide receiver, but moved behind center when the first quarter was dropped from the team. To get more experience, Mumphrey suited up for Waggener on Monday in the junior-varsity game against the Cougars. Mumphrey has a strong arm, but lacks accuracy.
Waggener’s base offense is the Wing-T, but they also will line-up in some spread looks.
The top running threat is junior Jacoby Garth who lines up on a wing. Leasor was also impressed with senior running back Ramon Simms who will line up behind Mumphrey as well as junior Delquan Jackson.
Leasor did point out that five Waggener players start on both offense and defense. The Cougar coach also feels his team has an advantage in the trenches.
“We’re stronger up front on both sides of the ball,” Leasor said.
On defense, the Wildcats use a three-man front, but often another player will drop down. The top lineman is senior Watt ‘Peanut’ Terrard. Senior linebacker Noah Parrish will often blitz from the outside. The middle linebacker is also a strong player in junior Ray Arocho.
Leasor did say that his team does not have any serious injuries this week, but there has been some flu in the school and at least one varsity player missed school on Monday because of that.
Right now, the key for the Cougars is to take care of business and then come home and get ready for tougher foes.
“Our kids have to understand that we’re not that far removed from Atherton,” Leasor said of the recent past. “We want them to keep their feet on the ground and get better every day. We challenge them every day to improve and be hungry.”
This is the last of four straight road games for the Cougars.
Game time on Friday at Waggener is set for 7:30 p.m.