New-look district awaits Blackcats

Samuel Kelly hauled in a reception for Prestonsburg during the 2018 high school football season in this file photo. Kelly is a senior for the Blackcats.

PRESTONSBURG — Realignment didn’t push Prestonsburg out of Class 2A District 8. However, Prestonsburg has some newfound district rivals awaiting in the 2019 high school football season.

The new-look Class 2A District 8 features former frontrunner Prestonsburg, reigning champion Shelby Valley, West Carter, Bath County, Sheldon Clark and East Ridge.

Prestonsburg (2-9) is headed into its second season under head coach Brandon Brewer and is looking to show improvement early in the campaign ahead. Several experienced players are due back for Prestonsburg, including junior quarterback Brayden Slone and senior Samuel Kelly, the team’s leading receiver in 2018.

The winner of a district championship in 2018, Shelby Valley (10-2) will be looking to carry momentum over into the 2019 season. Senior running back/defensive back Dalton Meade is poised to lead the Wildcats. But Shelby Valley must replace 2,000 yard rusher Seth Johnson.

With its top rusher back, West Carter (6-5) will look to push familiar foes and newfound rivals in its new district.

Despite losing 2,000 yard rusher Landan Swartz to graduation, Bath County (7-4) will look to keep its offense churning out yardage with the return of an experienced quarterback.  

After showing much improvement, Sheldon Clark (2-8) will be looking to return to the state playoffs.

Following realignment, East Ridge (2-9) remains in Class 2A District 8 and finds itself set to face even tougher competition.

Prestonsburg will start preseason practice in July. The Blackcats are slated to kick off the 2019 high school football season on the road at Pike Central on August 23. Prestonsburg and Pike Central are familiar non-district rivals.

2019 KHSAA Class 2A Football Alignment

District 1 – Ballard Memorial, Caldwell County, Fort Campbell, Mayfield, Murray

District 2 – Butler County, Hancock County, McLean County, Owensboro Catholic, Todd County Central

District 3 – Clinton County, Edmonson County, Green County, Metcalfe County, Monroe County

District 4 – Danville, Lexington Christian, Somerset, Washington County

District 5 – Carroll County, Gallatin County, Owen County, Shawnee, Walton-Verona

District 6 – Beechwood, Holy Cross (Covington), Lloyd Memorial, Newport

District 7 – Breathitt County, Knott Central, Leslie County, Middlesboro, Morgan County

District 8 – Bath County, East Ridge, Prestonsburg, Shelby Valley, Sheldon Clark, West Carter

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