Bishop excited for the future

Friday, November 17, 2017
Green Forest's Jordan Zepeda breaks through a hole in the Carroll County Super Bowl this year. Zepeda, a junior, rushed 502 yards and scored four touchdowns.
Charles Chappell /

A 2-8 season isn't what Green Forest football coach Bobby Bishop had hoped for coming into the season, but he believes some progress was made as the year went on.

"I'm always disappointed when we don't win a few more ballgames, but overall, we saw some areas where we improved program-wise," Bishop said. "We had 31 kids out. Absenteeism wasn't too bad. We improved on the number of kids that completed the program seven through 12. Those are minor victories."

One of the victories for Green Forest came against Berryville, a win that Bishop was glad to get.

"Our goals were to win the Carroll County championship and make the playoffs," Bishop said. "We weren't able to complete one of those, but that game against Berryville was important. It's good for our kids to win that one."

The thing that plagued Green Forest all year was defending opponents in open space. Bishop said during the offseason, the Tigers are going to have to improve upon that.

"We have installed a tackling system that is going to take a lot of practice and a lot of repetition," Bishop said. "The kids are going to have to grow up in this style of tackling. It's all designed to take the head out of the game. If we don't take the head out of the game, there won't be a game of football. It's something we are committed to, it's just going to take a lot of work. The main thing is getting your body in position to where you can shoulder tackle and we didn't do a good job of it in space."

Bishop admitted that during the winter months, it can be difficult to improve as a football team.

"We try to work within our facilities to get better throughout the year, but when you don't have a place to go when it's ice and snow and cold temperatures, it's hard to develop footwork and mobility," Bishop said. "Especially when you are working kids out in a locker room or the lobby of a gym."

Green Forest graduates nine seniors. Creel Roberts led the team with 118 tackles, while Jose Hernandez had 679 yards rushing and Matt Owens threw for 651 yards. Anthony Castillo had 369 all-purpose yards, while Braden Smith had 92 tackles and Edson Merida kicked a 55-yard field goal. Merida was also 15 for 15 on extra points. Alex Herrera had 44 tackles, while Dakota Grigg recovered two fumbles and Robert Lopez had a sack.

"We had six of the nine seniors go through the program seven through 12 and that's what we want to develop," Bishop said. "We want more kids that are interested in playing and have the commitment level to stay with it for the duration."

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