Eastern Kentucky fans gather at Kroger Field as four mountain teams battle for state titles
Four mountain teams made the trek to Kroger Field on Friday.
Pikeville defeated Paintsville in the first of two all-mountain championship games on Friday. These two teams bring energy and intensity to the field every time they play, and the two fan bases matched that energy.
Both teams had fans cheering them on the minute they walked off the bus and stepped into Kroger Field.
Throughout the game, a dominant Panthers team brought a dominant Pikeville team with them. This has always been a small town, big-time rivalry.
Pikeville fans left thrilled and although Paintsville fans left disappointed, the fact that this game played out under the big lights of Kroger Field is something they are proud of.
"It's pretty cool. The boys on our team would love to play at Kroger one day, the boys love Kentucky football, everybody likes to come here and play and it's been just a cool experience for all of us," said Gunner Collins, a sophomore from Paintsville. "It was pretty fun I thought we should have, I thought we were gonna come out with a win. But it was a long fought battle but we didn't come out in the end."
Pikeville brought out a loud squad to cheer themo n intheir big win over Paintsville.
"I mean it was great, I mean, an undefeated season and they didn't score on them once so that's great," said Andrew Ferguson, a 7th grader at Pikeville.
"It was just.. amazing, just a remarkable year. Couldn't be happier for the kids.. the kids deserve all the credit they've put in a lot of time and it's great for the whole community," said Colleen Moore a Pikeville fan.
There was another big win for Pike County tonight as Belfry defeated Bell County for the Class 3A state title.
The Belfry Pirates and the Bell County Bobcats brought more than the team, they brought out their communities.
Both sides of the field agreed that despite the outcome, the energy stayed the same.
“Crazy! It was electrifyiny for the pirates here tonight! Their fans never fail them. They’re always with them. They’d go to Alaska if that’s what it takes," said Spanky Maynard a Belfry fan.
“It was exciting, not the outcome we wanted but it was still exciting to be here and I’m glad that finally in my four years we got to come here, so that was special but still wish we could’ve pulled off the win," said Blake Ramey a Bell County senior.