Friday, November 05, 1999
Boone Co., Ryle set for next step
Coaches of both teams to make playoff debuts
BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Two of Northern Kentucky's 11 playoff football teams have coaches making postseason debuts tonight: Boone County's Rick Thompson and Ryle's Kyle Hockman.
They represent the largest of those 11 schools the area's two Class AAAA representatives but arrive from disparate directions. Thompson, 37, enjoyed numerous playoff runs in 12 years as a Boone County assistant. Hockman, 32, is in his first year at Ryle after spending the 1993 season at Lima (Ohio) Perry and eight other years as a college assistant.
It's fun for me, just like for the kids, Hockman said. While I like to concentrate on the game, I've even enjoyed the logistics of this week setting up for travel, meals, tickets. It's great to still be playing.
Thompson, who went 2-8 last year at Boone in his head coaching debut, can explain postseason pressures to his team as well as anyone.
It's no different than ever, Thompson said. And some of our kids were on the (state semifinalist) '96 team. We shouldn't be jittery.
After an 0-3 start, Boone finished 5-2 losing only to state No.2 Lexington Bryan Station and No.4 Lexington Henry Clay. It is 13th in the AAAA state poll and travels to No.11 Louisville Fern Creek (7-3) tonight.
Maybe we surprised some people on the outside, but we felt all along we could get to this point, Thompson said.
Ryle (6-4), in its first AAAA season, travels to No.5 Louisville Trinity (9-1) tonight.
We're trying to set our program to get where Henry Clay, Trinity, (Louisville) Male and (Louisville) St. X are, Hockman said. Every decision we make is geared toward the long term.
Other expected close games tonight: Holmes (7-3) at Franklin County (9-1) in AAA and Ludlow (5-5) at Nicholas County (9-1) in Class A.