Courting perfection

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After last year’s historic undefeated performance, Rebels ready to open new season

By Brian Blair

How does a team improve upon perfection? That is the question the Owen County High School football team is asking as they get ready to kickoff the 2012 season Friday night.
The Rebels are coming off their first ever perfect regular season in 2011. They would finish 11-1 overall after losing to the eventual 2A State Champion Holy Cross Indians in the second round of the playoffs. The year also included a district championship as they swept through Gallatin County, Walton-Verona, Trimble County and Carroll County.
Repeating, as Owen County will find out is never easy.
The Rebels will get things started on Friday night as they travel to Erlanger to take on the Lloyd Memorial Juggernauts.
The two teams kicked off last season in Owenton with Owen County getting the best of the visitors 28-13 to begin what would turn out to be a historic season.
Lloyd finished last season 5-7. They did defeat Walton-Verona in the opening round of the Class 2A playoffs before losing to Newport Central Catholic in round two.
As for the rest of the schedule, Owen County will spend week two in Grant County before returning home to play their first home game against Bourbon County.
They will then travel to Western Hills before returning home for a game with Bellevue. They will then open up district play at home with Walton-Verona.
After back-to-back road trips to Trimble County and Carroll County, the Rebels will close out the regular season with a home game versus Gallatin County and a road game at Ludlow.
Of the 10 teams on the schedule, four finished with winning records. The toughest stretch appears to be weeks three through six. Bourbon County finished 8-4, Western Hills was 5-6, Bellevue 7-5 and Walton-Verona 8-3.
One thing the Rebels will have to be prepared for as they enter the season will be the fact that they will not be able to sneak up on anyone this season.
With many skilled players returning from last year, teams will be ready for the Rebels.
Owen County returns quarterback Adam Hazlett, running backs Collin Trammel, Paul Banks and Chris Smith and wide receiver Chris Day.
Hazlett finished 2011 with 2,605 yards passing and 31 touchdown passes.
Banks led the team in rushing with 544 yards and five touchdowns.
Trammell finished with 319 yards on the ground and a pair of scores. He also caught three touchdown passes.
Smith also scored two rushing touchdowns.
Day was second on the team with 791 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns.
Defensively, the Rebels will have to replace their three leading tacklers from last year.
Looking to fill that role will be the likes of seniors Ezra Knox and John Gaines as well as sophomore Michael Wash.
Trammel, Banks, Smith and Day will also be looked upon to help on the defensive side of the ball.
The Rebels played a scrimmage on Friday night at home against Shelby County.
Owen County scored late in the first half when Hazlett and Day connected on a 42-yard touchdown pass. The Rockets would respond with a touchdown on the final play of the first half to tie things up at 6-6. The two teams played their starters in the third quarter before letting reserves play in the final quarter.
Things will get real on Friday night when the season kicks off at 7 p.m. in Erlanger.