Bobcats to unveil new stadium against Huntsville

Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Berryville's Isaac Brown breaks a tackle in last year's game against Huntsville.
Charles Chappell /

The Berryville Bobcats have had a lot of build-up to Friday night's home opener against the Huntsville Eagles, as it will mark the unveiling of Berryville's new stadium.

"We are just trying to stay focused," Berryville coach Doug Shott said. "We don't have to tell the kids it's a big game. They know it's a big game. They are excited about playing in the new stadium. I think they are excited about taking it to Huntsville. We are just trying to remain focused. That's the big push for the rest of the week."

Playing Huntsville, a team that has stepped up into Class 5A, Shott knows this will be a great test for his team.

"We really believe coach (Randy) Barnhill does a good job down there," Shott said. "They have a real good group of kids to work with. They are moving up to 5A, so they should have some numbers over there. It will be tough."

Shott believes his pass defense will have to be prepared Friday night.

"We think they are going to try to run a lot of slip screens on us," Shott said. "Try to take advantage of us being aggressive up front and throwing the ball behind the line of scrimmage and getting their linemen downfield to block. They will run the ball some, but they like to let the quarterback pick and choose where to throw the ball. And he does a great job of it."

Sean McCone is a three-year starter at quarterback. Shott knows he will be an offensive threat.

"He is a super athlete," Shott said. "His dad has been a coach over at Huntsville for a long time working under coach (Charles) Berry. Coach Berry retired last year and McCone took over for him, but (the quarterback) is a coach’s kid. There is a lot that goes with being a coach’s kid, good and bad. But make no doubt, he isn't just a coach’s kid. We believe he is an outstanding athlete. He brings a lot of poise to the game. He isn't going to panic. He is very comfortable. I feel like he is most dangerous when he is out of the pocket."

Shott said he has been impressed with what he has seen from the Huntsville defense.

"It's only the second game of the year, but it's the best defense we have seen so far," Shott said. "Up front, their two tackles are huge. One goes about 310 and one is about 290. They have some big bodies in the middle. We are going to have to cut them some, maintain our blocks and stay with them. They are pretty good up front. They have some good defensive ends, but the strength of the defense is their linebackers. They have three quality linebackers that we will have to account for."

This has been the first week Berryville has had a chance to practice on its new turf field.

"The kids were happy to get out here," Shott said. "They are finding out how hot it is during the middle of the day. When we took the field today, it was 92 degrees, but you can add about 20 degrees to that on turf. Staying hydrated is a big deal."

The remnants of tropical storm Gordon could have an impact on Friday night's game.

"Both teams are going to have to concern themselves with turnovers," Shott said. "We have worked hard this week with turnovers. We have got to cut those down. Having a wet ball will lend itself to more turnovers. In terms of style of offense, I would think we would be the better for it. I think it will affect the passing game."

Kickoff is scheduled for Friday night at Ronnie Clark Field. If weather becomes an issue, the game would be postponed to Saturday afternoon.

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