On the eve of Championship Weekend, Here’s how we see the Division I bracket shaking out…

It is the biggest weekend in Middle School football in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and it is an event not too many states can boast of hosting. Yes, we have middle school football state Champions in Kentucky and yes, it is both legitimate and quite an accomplishment. These programs are the lifeblood of the high school programs they will supply with players, and most often, teams with strong middle school football programs also are heavyweights in the KHSAA as well. We will tell you what we know of the Semis and forecast which two teams we believe will play for it all, in Division I, and which forecast which team will ultimately survive the weekend and take home the Division I, Championship trophy.

Division I Semi-finals;

Marshall County, a 6 seed which ended up Region I Champions, versus Johnson County, defending State Champion, seeded 2nd and the ultimate 3rd Region Champions:

This may shock you so I hope you are sitting down but…Marshall County, seeded 6th was a real Cinderella to emerge the Region I Champion. In its firstRegion 1 match-up they were tasked with beating a favored South Warren team, seeded third, in Bowling Green, to even advance. Marshall County won that game narrowly, 14-8. The Marshalls had to go on the road again, and this time to Russellville, Kentucky, to beat Region 1’s 2nd seeded, Logan County. Logan County, with probably the two best offensive tackles in middle school football, lost to the Marshalls in an upset we didn’t see coming, 39-16. The Marshalls then played top-seeded Bowling Green Junior High in Paducah, Kentucky, beating the Purples 6-0 to reach Lexington and the opportunity which now presents itself.

As for Johnson County, Region 3’s 2nd seeded team and the Division I defending State Champion, Scott Holbrook led his team to the Division I Middle School State football championship in 2017, Johnson County’s fifth such title. The Eagles beat Northern Pulaski in 2017, 22-16, for that honor. It was the only State title game a year ago which was competitive in the 8th grade division. Should Johnson County win this game, and Northern Pulaski gets by Union, it would rematch the same two teams from a year ago for this year’s trophy. Johnson County won against the Union Jaguars by forfeit, then beat Royal Springs in the Region 3 Championship game, 38-6, to get to play Marshall this week-end.

KPGFootball’s call…So long Cinderella, its been a great ride but turn out the lights, the party’s over for you. Johnson County advances!

Union Raiders, a 2 seed out of Region 2 and Region 2 Champions vs. Northern Pulaski, a 2 seed out of the 4th Region and Region 4 Champions:

The Union Raiders beat Meade County 34-8, outlasted Ft. Thomas-Highlands, 14-0, in the Regional Championship game to get to play this week-end as Region 2 Champions. The Raiders began the tournament seeded 2nd in Region 2 and upset Highlands, the one seed, at Madison Central High School to advance. The Raiders are an upstart team which finds itself in the Championship weekend with some teams quite accustomed to being here. They are, like the Marshalls, probably prohibitive underdogs to get out of the semi-final.

The Northern Pulaski Maroons are quite accustomed to the Championship weekend and are coached by veteran Team Kentucky FBU Elite head man, G.J. Wooldridge. Wooldridge was a favorite to win the Division I Championship last season before dropping the game to Johnson County. Why? Well, last year’s eighth grade class had won the 7th grade State Championship the year previous, it would stand to reason they would be good as 8th graders. Northern Pulaski boasts some of the finest talent on any middle school roster with both Cade Sullivan and Korbyn Goff likely to make KPGFootball’s Middle School All-State Football team at season’s end.

KPGFootball’s call…We like Northern Pulaski to beat Union and play Johnson County in a re-match of last year’s title game.

Who takes home the Trophy: We believe Northern Pulaski wins the State Championship in Division 1 this year.

Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long reminding all of the ballers out there that #WeGotUCovered and to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE.

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About Fletcher Long 1423 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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