Berryville seventh-grade completes perfect season

Friday, November 18, 2016

An undefeated season is what all teams strive for. The Berryville Bobcat seventh-grade football team achieved that this year, going 9-0 and finishing as conference champions.

"They had a great year," Berryville coach Cody Curtis said. "I am very proud of them and they were a great group to coach."

Curtis said that offensively, the team was built around a multitude of running backs, including Jaeden Tanksley, who finished with 20 touchdowns and 1,200 yards rushing, and Tristen Lodwick.

"I had trouble all year trying to find a spot for all the good running backs I had," Curtis said. "I had about five or six kids who could go. When I put a backup in, I didn't lose much."

Along with Tanksley and Lodwick, Curtis said Zach Boaz and Issac Weston stepped up and played well on the defensive side of the ball. Curtis said there has been a significant improvement in the junior high program over the last couple of years. The seventh-grade team dressed out 34 players this year. He believes that can continue.

"They are a really good group of kids," Curtis said. "They have some bigger kids. I preached to them all year staying together."

This year, the Bobcats' high school team graduated 12 seniors, which Curtis believes is a good number for Berryville, but he hopes to continue seeing that number improve.

"A lot of years we have lost kids in senior high when the going gets tough," Curtis said. "They have put in all of that hard work and effort and then they don't see that result on Friday night. That really gets the kids down, but if these kids can stay successful, encourage each other and have fun, then the other part will take care of itself."

About half of the seventh-grade football team has moved on to basketball, while the other half will work on offseason football drills.

"They will be lifting, running, working on position and skill stuff," Curtis said. "We will hopefully work on some speed drills to get them faster, stronger and work on their technique."

Curtis also coaches the seventh-grade basketball team. He is already putting pressure on the Bobcats to have a good season.

"I've been telling them we need to go undefeated in basketball, too. That way we can have back-to-back undefeated seasons," Curtis said.

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