Team of the Week: The Corbin Redhounds
CORBIN, Ky. (WYMT) - At the halfway mark of the 2023 high school football regular season, the Corbin Redhounds played against their toughest opponent on their regular season schedule, the Frederick Douglass Broncos.
“Going in, we said that the team that is going to be the most physical is going to win the football game,” Corbin head coach Tom Greer said. “We felt like we were the most physical team that night.”
Greer’s prediction of the most physical team winning the game was correct. The Redhounds would win 6-0, but the winning-difference to Corbin edge Jacob Smith was that all of his teammates showed up to play.
“Everyone loves football here,” Jacob Smith said. “All 11 on offense, all 11 on defense and all 11 on special teams they want to be on the team. They want to hit somebody. They want to block people and stuff like that.”
Although a 6-0 score does not scream “statement win” just by the looks of it, the Redhounds ability to score against one of the toughest defenses in the state and keep the Broncos from marching into the end zone proves how much of a “statement-win” the game really was.
“Last year we averaged 41 points a game,” Greer said. “But you’re playing Frederick Douglass’ defense. They are a very, very good defensive football team. As good as there is in the state. Our offense had zero turnovers.”
To defensive lineman Jerod Smith, Corbin’s success in Friday’s game stems from the brotherhood he and his teammates have.
“You don’t get a closer football team than what we have,” Jerod Smith said. “That shows on the field when we all come together to make a goal line stop. I mean, that takes all eleven. If you have eight, you lose. We had all eleven.”
After the win, three Corbin players announced some big news.
Jacob Smith thought he would go to trade school. Jerod Smith thought he would be a UK basketball player when he was a kid. Eli Pietrowski always wanted to play football in college.
Now, all three Corbin Redhounds have the opportunity to play football for the Kentucky Wildcats.
“Little Jerod would be happy,” Jerod Smith said about flipping his commitment from Michigan to UK after Corbin’s 6-0 win over Frederick Douglass on Friday. “I didn’t have my [childhood dream] of always wanting to go play at college, but it did not really feel real to me until about high school when I started taking things seriously, so I would say, freshman year Jerod would be happy with where we are at right now.”
Jerod’s twin brother Jacob Smith was also in on the announcement that he will also be a football Wildcat in 2024.
“There is more sense of purpose,” Jacob said. “Since I am in-state, I have to show out for the state. Especially if I am going to the state school. I have to make Corbin good and then go to Kentucky and make them good, hopefully.”
Having played football for Somerset their freshman and sophomore years then moving to Connecticut to play for a prep school for two football seasons, the Smith twins decided they wanted their playing time in the bluegrass to last longer than their senior year of high school.
“You know family was probably the number one reason,” Jerod Smith said. “Things just fell into place perfectly. Stars aligned and we just made the flip. I like the defensive scheme. Jacob likes it. It just fit us perfectly.”
The twins were not the only Redhounds with exciting UK news. Eli Pietrowski was standing with his family after the win over the Broncos when Pietrowski’s dad, Tony, was pulled over by UK associate head coach Vince Morrow. The news then broke that Eli received an offer to play for the Cats.
“After that I was just shocked,” Pietrowski said. It was an unbelievable feeling. It kind of felt like it was out of a movie. It was a great feeling that was like nothing I have ever experienced before.”
With the offer now placed, Pietrowski is hoping to visit the UK campus soon and attend a Wildcat football game.
Pietrowski said he did not grow up watching UK football, but, as a child, he always imagined playing football at the Division 1 level, so when asked what young Eli would think about his chance to play for Kentucky, his response was “we did it.”
“Ever since I was a little kid, it has been my dream to play college football,” Pietrowski said. “Watching it every day growing up, it has alway been a dream for me. At that point [after being offered], I realized [my childhood dream] was coming true.”
The Redhounds are back in action on Friday, Sept. 22, playing Hazard on the road.
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