Shortly after he took over as the coach at Berea Community earlier this year, Frank Parks Jr., was approached by a player during a session in the weight room.
"He told me he wanted to win a district game," Parks said. "That's been on my mind ever since."
That's been a goal for the Pirates for quite a long time.
Berea Community (3-4 0-1) hasn't won a game against a district opponent in more than seven years — a stretch of 27-straight games.
The Pirates will look to snap that skid on Friday when they travel to Eminence (5-2, 0-1).
Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
"We want to get that monkey off our backs," Parks said of winning a district game. "It would be a significant boost for our program."
The Pirates haven't even played a game since Sept. 24.
Berea had an open week, then had to forfeit an Oct. 8 match-up at home with district rival Kentucky Country Day because the school's entire athletic department was shutdown because of COVID-19.
The Pirates had 10 days off before returning to training this past week. After focusing on conditioning and lifting on Saturday and Sunday, Berea was finally back on the field, in pads, on Monday.
"My biggest concern is trying to figure out a way that we don't start out slow, because we haven't played a game in two weeks," Parks said.
The forfeit loss to KCD put the Pirates at the bottom of the district standings, along with Eminence — which lost to Frankfort last week, 53-14.
The winner of the showdown between the Pirates and Warriors will keep its chances alive at playing host to a first-round playoff game.
The loser will be in last place.
"We can only control what we can control and we just have to take to one game at a time," Parks said.
The well-rested Pirates should be a full strength for the trip to Eminence.
Jaiden Cunningham has a team-best 440 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on the season. Yamil Cruz had three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) and Clayton Martinez, Logan Abney and Isaiah Dorsey each have a receiving touchdown. Koty Roberts also has a rushing TD and quarterback Jayson Coburn has completed 35-of-94 pass attempts for 478 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions.
The Warriors had won five-straight before last week's loss at Frankfort.
Eminence has scored 50 or more points five times this season, including 68 against Webster County and 63 in a win over Fort Knox.
Quarterback Blaze Berry has thrown for 1,616 yards on the season with 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Running back Davontaye Saunders has 1,161 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. He also has 11 receiving TDs.
Adriene Bailey had 34 catches for 566 yards and nine touchdowns.
"We are going to try to limit the possessions, take the air out of the football and make them drive," Parks said of Eminence. "They are a very explosive offense. We need to make them earned tough yards and not hit home runs."