MT. VERNON, Ky. (WYMT) - Just like every team, the Rockcastle County Rockets are focused on the start of the 2019 high school football season and every game after their first on August 23rd.
But following the realignment and redistricting this offseason, a rivalry will be reborn. One between Rockcastle County and the Bell County Bobcats.
"Early in the 2000s and the late '90s, Bell and Rock were right there all the time," said Rockcastle County head football coach Scott Parkey. "It was a rivalry unmatched in the whole state I believe."
"I remember as a kid going to watch Rockcastle play Bell County at Log Mountain and stuff and it just brought a whole different atmosphere and I can't wait to play in it," said senior Josh Thacker.
"You go down to the barbershop and you hear older guys talking about Bell County, Rockcastle, and Bell County," said junior Rylee Deleon. "I think what makes that game so exciting is we play the same type of football so, we are just going at it head to head and all those years you come out to watch Rockcastle and Bell County cause they were head knockers."
The excitement to play that game again, as well as returning a lot of guys from last year is what is helping the Rockets get ready for this year's campaign.
The Rockets may have only recorded five wins last season but that was with a lot of inexperience. About eight players on each side of the ball return to Scott Parkey and the Rockets this season.
The team feels that experience can make all the difference this year.
"It is tremendous. The guys who were out there on the field last year they come in with a lot more experience," said Parkey. "They are able to see things a whole lot faster and the schedule we played last year was incredibly tough so they faced the best competition out there. We are looking forward to it. Those guys out there are going to be able to make plays without thinking too much."
The Rockets move down from Class 4A to Class 3A this year and enter Class 3A's District 5. The district consists of Bell County, Estill County, Garrard County, Jackson County, McCreary Central, and of course the Rockets.
Rockcastle County travels to Somerset for week one of the season.