Friday Night Lens: ‘Can’t go anywhere in Jackson without them talking about Breathitt Co. football’


If you blink, you’re gonna miss Jackson. But if you blink on a Friday night,
you’re gonna miss something awesome.>>All right, let’s go. Let’s dominate these guys.>>[CROSSTALK]
>>[APPLAUSE]>>Hey clap it up, clap it up, let’s go. Big hit on me! Ready!
>>Big hit!>>Football is life here in
Breathitt County, and in the mountains. Come on Friday nights to this stadium, and you’ll see people that you ain’t seen
in weeks or months come out to a game. Cuz it’s what we are,
it’s Breathitt football.>>[SOUND] I went to school here and
played football here in the 90s and I knew pretty early in high school that
I wanted to be a football coach, and especially a football
coach here in my hometown. We have a great community. We got a lot of support from our school,
our administrators, and the local businesses. You can’t go anywhere in Jackson without
them talking about Breathitt County football and Breathitt County football,
it’s had a good history and we’re hoping that we can
continue to build on that. And it’s an exciting place to be a high
school football coach and to play here. [BLANK_AUDIO]
>>It’s a big deal, it always has been ever since I’ve been
in Jackson, but even before my time. It’s been the heart of the community for
many years. I root for the Bobcats, always have. Well, since I’ve been in Jackson because
most of the kids, I cut their hair. So, I have a personal
connection with them. They’re real close friends and customers. So, it’s exciting for
me to go watch them play football.>>[APPLAUSE]
>>I’m Laura Thomas. I’m the mayor of the city of Jackson,
Jackson, Kentucky. Jackson is the county
seat of Breathitt County. And we’re a large county,
land-wise, but population is small. We’ve lost population over the years. We have around 13,000
people in the county and there are about 2,300 people in the city. And we’re a small mountain
town in Eastern Kentucky.>>I grew up out Route 30 here,
out by McDonald’s. You go out there about 15 miles and
turn down an old road called Canoe. And I grew up on the middle
fork of the Kentucky River, had three older brothers and about five
friends that lived on the same road. So we spent all day every day
outside fishing, playing basketball, Wiffle ball, football. We just spent our time outside. Then, it so happened that we
had to move because of jobs. Finally, it worked out for
me to come home and that’s why I’m getting ready to
start my senior season, now.>>On Friday nights here in Jackson,
it brings out between 2 and 3 or 4,000 people. It brings the community together.>>It’s done a whole lot for me, and
that’s the biggest reason I wanted to get into coaching,
was the coach here at Breathitt County and kind of give back to the kids of
Breathitt County what football gave to me.>>My three older brothers played here. And I’ve been around this program
since I was eight years old. So football’s been a big part of my life,
and the place is really special to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way
than to spend my senior year here.>>Walking from the locker room
underneath the bleachers to the field, everybody smacking you on the helmets,
smacking you on the pads, getting you fired up,
there’s nothing like it. And running out on the field,
hearing the fight song play, it’s just a whole other feeling. You get this feeling maybe
three times in your life, when you’re playing football, when you have a baby,
when you get married. [MUSIC]

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