It’s football time in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and there’s may not be anyone looking more forward to this season that the Harlan County Black Bears. Harlan really came on in the ladder part of the season last year and showed Kentucky that they were ready to contend for a championship. Their quest for the title ended in the semifinals last year with a loss to Highlands, who went on to grab the 5A state title. Black Bear Coach Tom Larkey took the time to answer a few questions from me about this year’s team, Highlands dropping out of 5A, and the Black Bear Nation.
Were you surprised with the outcome of last year’s season?
Yes. After our opening game and the big loss to Pulaski County, I think it was a surprise to a lot of people.
How does the landscape of 5A football change now that Highlands is out of the picture?
It is really going to give some of the teams a better chance to make the finals. It is more even now.
Are there any players at Harlan County that can make a big impact this year?
Marcus McMillian, Michael Smith, Jordy Brewer, and Jake Middleton
Any news on when the new stadium will be finished?
I don’t have any news except it is doubtful we will play on it this year.
How is the atmosphere in Harlan County on Friday nights?
There is a lot of excitement and a lot of expectations. The people really come and support the team.
What are your expectations for this year’s team?
I believe it is a possibility to win another region. We have a nice team that can do that with some luck.