Coach: Roy Lucas Sr. (169-110)
Aug. 27 NEWPORT CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Sept. 3 at Dayton
Sept. 10 BEECHWOOD
Sept. 17 WEST CARTER
Sept. 24 at Campbell County
Oct. 1 at Fleming County
Oct. 8 at Mason County
Oct. 15 LLOYD
Oct. 22 BATH COUNTY
Oct. 29 at Russell
(All games at 7:30 unless noted)
Outlook: Newport has reached the postseason in each of Lucas' four seasons here, and its No. 7 ranking in the Courier-Journal's state coaches poll indicates it's surely headed back. What happens when it gets there?
Realignment did Newport some favors, but not enough. Perennial district rival Lawrence County was moved up to Class AAA, and Breathitt County -- which bounced Newport from the playoffs in 1996 and '98 -- was moved to another region. But Newport now shares a region with Lexington Catholic, the preseason state No. 1.
The Wildcats have 17 seniors who should make this another special season. Two of them, Charlie Smith and Nick Partin, are the unquestioned stars. Last year, Smith ran for 1,204 yards and 18 TDs while throwing for 1,194 yards and 11 TDs. Partin ran for 1,503 yards and 14 TDs.
Newport must find two new offensive linemen and big-play threats in its receiving corps. If it can, look out.
A Sept. 10 matchup with Beechwood will give the Wildcats a good taste of what the likes of Lexington Catholic might offer in the postseason.