The first-game jitters are over for the Franklin County football team, but the challenge has just begun.
A young Flyer squad will take the field against perennial heavyweight Danville in the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic 8 p.m. Saturday at Admiral Stadium in Danville.
FCHS coach Aaron Stepp said he expects a more confident team this week after the Flyers lost 35-7 in their season opener against Louisville’s Holy Cross.
“A lot of kids played their first varsity game last week, so now they know what to expect,” he said.
“The kids have done a great job keeping their heads up. We’re trying to stay positive and keep working. As young as we are, we’re going to get better every week and that’s all we can ask.”
The Admirals, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, will be making their home debut after losing to Mason County 48-21 in the Meadowview Regional Kickoff Classic last week.
Stepp said Danville probably won’t be looking to do the Flyers any favors in its home opener.
“They’re another option team. They’re going to try and spread us out a bit and they’ve got great speed,” he said.
The Admirals moved up to Class 2A three years ago after winning seven state championships under veteran coach Sam Harp.
They return a core class of juniors expected to lead them deep into the playoffs this season after a second-round exit last year.
“They’re a team that competes for a state championship year in and year out with kids that have been in the system,” Stepp said. “It’s going to be a tough matchup for us.”
With Lafayette, Frankfort and Woodford County waiting in the wings on the Flyers’ schedule, Stepp said he is hoping the season’s first six weeks will help form a battle-tested team come October.
“Every week is going to be a gauntlet and that’s OK,” he said. “If we can make it through and be somewhat healthy, then I feel real good about the district schedule.”