2019 Pineville Mountain Lions preview

Published 11:42 pm Sunday, August 18, 2019

Pineville head coach Randy Frazier is looking for early success in his first year with the Mountain Lions. After a 2018 campaign in which the Mountain Lions opened the season by winning four of their first five, Frazier feels like former head coach Bart Elam left the school in a good spot to be successful on the gridiron.

“It’s an honor to be here, not only to be at Pineville as an assistant principal, but it’s an honor to be selected as your football coach,” said Frazier earlier this season during a student assembly. “Last year, I would go out there and work and I would see you all out there on the field, and I would see what kind of effort you gave. I saw what kind of staff that they had last year with coach Elam and those guys. It made me excited about football again.”

Frazier, whose last stop as a head coach was at Middlesboro, said he was excited to lead Pineville this year. He said that Pineville felt like home.

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“Even though I was at a different school at the time, (Pineville) felt like home. When I got the opportunity to come here as an assistant principal, I didn’t hesitate because it’s a wonderful community,” said Frazier. “You can feel the tradition as you walk around town.”

Frazier will inherit a young team when the season kicks off. Last season, Pineville graduated six seniors and lost a decent amount of playmakers. The team will return several sophomores that made an impact, including Scooby Morris and Hayden Callebs.

Frazier feels like his team is in a good position to win a lot of football games this season.

“Obviously, we want to win a district championship,” Frazier said. “I told them in a meeting we had that was one of the reasons I finally looked around at my wife and said, ‘Do you care if I apply for this job?’ Then I went and asked permission from the administration to apply. I watched them play last year. The job that coach Elam has done here since he’s been here is phenomenal. I think he’s a great coach, and it got me excited thinking about coming back to coaching.”

During his last stop as a head football coach, Frazier tallied a 23-23 record between 2010 and 2013 at Middlesboro. In 2013, he led the Yellow Jackets to a 9-3 season and the second round of the playoffs before losing to Somerset.

Frazier was very impressed and excited by the turnout and community support for all of the sports teams at Pineville High School earlier this year at “Meet the Mountain Lions.”

“It seemed like all of Pineville was there,” said Frazier. “To see so many people turn out and show their support for the teams was amazing. These kids notice things like that, and it gives them extra motivation. It really goes to show how much community support there is for this school.

“The administration does a wonderful job of making sure we have everything we need, the coaches all do a wonderful job in guiding these young athletes, and the community rallies behind every team we have. It was a great experience and we were thrilled with the turn out.”

In its 2018 campaign, Pineville amassed 792 yards of passing offense and seven passing touchdowns as well as 2,147 yards of rushing offense and 29 touchdowns on the ground.

The Mountain Lions will be starting junior Reece Capps at quarterback this season after graduating senior quarterback Garland Ellis. Pineville’s backfield gained a valuable player in Bell County transfer Colby Frazier for this season.

Last season at Bell County, Frazier rushed for 1,532 yards and 20 touchdowns while averaging 117.8 yards a game.

“Getting Colby was huge for us,” said Frazier. “He’s a hard working guy who has the measurables and talent to be a great running back. He has great vision, patience and strength. We are expecting big things out of him this season.”

“Reece (Capps) has done a great job at acclimating to what we are trying to do,” said Frazier. “He, as well as the rest of the team, have been working very hard. We’re going to do everything we can to give him the time he needs to distribute the football.”

Pineville returns their top two receivers from last season in senior Landon Couch and sophomore Devon “Scooby” Morris.

“Landon (Couch) is a guy who has a great frame and the ability to go up and catch a ball through contact,” said Frazier. “He’s a senior this season and has shown a lot of leadership throughout the summer.”

“Scooby (Morris) is one of those electric play-makers,” said Frazier. “He has wonderful vision and speed. He’s going to be helping us out at the receiver position as well as returning kicks for us this season.”

The Mountain Lion defense totaled 779 tackles in 2018, including eight fumbles forced and eight interceptions. After graduating their two leading tacklers, Pineville will rely heavily on their young players on defense this season.

“We’re young on the defensive side of the ball,” said Frazier. “Outside of Cameron (Walters), we don’t have many upperclassmen on defense. Most of them are freshmen and sophomores. I like how hard they’ve been working over the summer and they’ve picked up on a lot very quickly.”

Frazier and the Mountain Lions are looking forward to this year with a district that is wide open and a favorable schedule, Pineville is in prime position for a break out year.

Aug. 23 — McCreary Central (A)

Aug. 30 — Knott County Central (A)

Sept. 6 — Paris (H) Laurel Bowl

Sept. 13 — East Ridge (H)

Sept. 20 — Middlesboro (A)

Sept. 27 — Thomas Walker (Ewing), VA (H)

Oct. 11 — Lynn Camp (H)

Oct. 18 — Williamsburg (A)

Oct. 25 — Harlan (H)

Nov. 1 — Sayre (A)