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Members of the South Laurel and North Laurel football teams were on hand for the Cumberland Valley Bowl press conference Monday night.

Although North Laurel and South Laurel are cross-town rivals, they met on good terms Monday night as they talked to the media about opening their seasons in the Cumberland Valley Bowl on Friday night.

Both teams will use the Cumberland Valley Bowl as a measuring stick to find out where their teams stand going into the 2007 season.

North Laurel will face a solid Covington Holy Cross team that is coming in off an impressive 8-3 campaign and a trip to the Class A State Tournament a year ago.

“They are very well coached,” North Laurel coach David Abbott said. “They are thick, athletic and aggressive kids. They have lost some kids but it doesn’t look like it has slowed them down. They have reloaded.”

Coach Abbott noted his opponent will not try anything tricky, just a ‘stop us if you can’ attitude.

“They have thick, bowling ball type full-backs that will just run it at you,” Abbott said. “There is nothing tricky about what they do, they say, ‘we are coming right at you. What are you going to do about it?’ So we have to hit them, hit them, hit them and continue to hit them until they break us or we break them.”

In the nightcap South Laurel will face a talented Louisville Valley team that is coming off a 9-3 season with a trip to the Class 3A State Tournament.

“It will definitely be a good measuring stick for us,” South Laurel coach Jason Chappell said. “They are big, strong and physical up front. They have five running backs who are all extremely talented. It is unusual to see a high school football team with five kids that are all athletic and can run the football.”

Chappell knows his team will have to play disciplined football to be successful.

“We have to be disciplined and play down hill,” Chappell said. “We can’t get out of our assigned gaps and we want to force them to run to the sideline. The big thing is getting 11 players to the football on every snap. We can’t get four or five, we need to get 11 to the ball on every snap.”

Chappell expects his team to be able to compete physically with Louisville Valley and noted defense is the key to their success.

“I feel like we can match their physical play,” Chappell said. “It begins and ends on defense for us. It’s going to be a challenge for us, but with our tough schedule this year against power running teams, this will be a great test for us early.”

The Cumberland Valley Bowl is scheduled to kick off at 6 p.m.. on Friday night at South Laurel.

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