Shott challenges Bobcats to improve each day

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Berryville High School football player Tristan Updegraff takes a break from the weight room to play catch with some teammates on Wednesday. Updegraff will be a sophomore for the Bobcats next fall.
David Bell / Carroll County News

A new era began when Doug Shott was hired as football coach of the Berryville Bobcats in April.

With that came a new slogan: "It's a great day to be a Bobcat."

Shott and the Bobcats began spring practice last week and he is encouraged by the progress he has seen so far.

"I am challenging them each day to get better at something," Shott said. "Never stay the same. Either you get better or you get worse. I challenge them to get better each day whether it be a technique, learning a play or a responsibility."

Shott knows he is new to the program. Therefore he knows it's important for his players to understand his demeanor and what he expects from his team.

"I think they already see that there are times I will be excited and there are times I'm going to be solemn," Shott said. "They need to learn why I am like I am. When we are on defense I'm liable to be as wild as any defensive coordinator is going to be. When we are on offense, I have to take a deep breath. Calm myself, because I have learned that over the years when I get too excited I can't think. I want them to learn why there are different parts to me. The kind of guy I am, I want them to be. In a fight, the only way you are going to beat me is if you knock me out or kill me."

It can be tough for a team to buy into what a new coach is selling. Shott is glad that the Bobcats are invested in the changes he is trying to make, especially the seniors.

"A new coach has to worry about if the seniors will buy into what you are doing," Shott said. "I'm pleased with the total team effort, but I'm even more pleased with the senior effort."

During the first two weeks of spring practice, Berryville has been averaging 42 players for each practice. While Shott is pleased with those numbers, he encourages more players to come out and play.

"I wish I had 105 players, but if we have 32 good ones come out I will take that, too," Shott said.

Berryville will close spring practice with a Purple and Gold game on Thursday, May 18. Shott looks forward to breaking the team up and seeing just how competitive the Bobcats are.

"The general thought is we are going to do a set number of plays to start it off," Shott said. "We obviously want to make sure all of the ones and twos get a look. We really don't have ones and twos per se. Everyone kind of knows, but then I want to make sure our threes get some looks, too. We will probably do a set number of plays for three or four series and then if we end up dividing them equally, we will try to play a live quarter or two."

Thursday's Purple and Gold game will be at Ronnie Clark Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

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