Friday, November 19, 1999

Dixie, Bellevue challenge Ky. titans


Will try to beat Highlands, Beechwood

BY NEIL SCHMIDT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Highlands and Beechwood are football royalty, Kentucky kingpins who annually assemble title-contending teams.

        At other schools, championship seasons require patience and incubation. A number of promising athletes, usually in the same grade, are thrown into the fray early in hopes they'll grow to greatness by senior year.

        Such is the story at Dixie Heights and Bellevue, who challenge those aforementioned powers tonight. Bellevue went from 1992-98 without a winning season; Dixie didn't make the playoffs from 1990-97 but has now advanced as far as ever before.

        “We took our lumps with these kids two years ago (going 2-8) but knew they'd grow up,” Bellevue coach Charlie Coleman said.

        Said Dixie coach Tom Spritzky: “The kids believe they can win a state championship, and if you prove you're the best up here, that puts you in position to win one.”

        These might essentially be title games tonight. Bellevue (12-0) is ranked first and Beechwood (10-2) second in the Class A state poll; in AAA, both state computer ratings list Highlands (11-1) first and Dixie (10-2) second.

        Bellevue plays host to Beechwood at Gilligan Stadium, where it beat Beechwood 17-0 six weeks ago. Dixie must travel to Highlands, where it lost 24-6 to the Bluebirds on Oct. 15.

        Highlands has gone 52-2 the past four seasons, and Beechwood is 39-2 in the playoffs under coach Mike Yeagle. Neither giant will topple easily.

        “We know Bellevue's a great team,” Yeagle said. “They beat us the first time because they wanted it more. We have to have a higher intensity level than them.”

        Said Highlands coach Dale Mueller: “We knew we'd play Dixie again. They (the Colonels) want to win the state championship real badly, and this is the state championship for us.”

        PREP FOOTBALL PAGE



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- Dixie, Bellevue challenge Ky. titans
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