New coach gives Bobcats’ offense a makeover

Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Berryville head coach Bryan Hutson, who accepted the job in April after three seasons at Elkins, gives instructions to a group of players during spring practice. Hutson is installing a Spread offense at Berryville.
Charles Chappell /

The Berryville Bobcats got their first primer on new head coach Bryan Hutson’s Spread offense during spring practice.

A learning curve can be expected, but Hutson said he was pleased with how the Bobcats responded.

“It’s going well,” Hutson said last week as spring drills neared an end. “It’s a whole 180 turn for these kids as far as what we’re doing offensively. But they’re picking up on it pretty well.”

Freshman Chad Hipps, the Bobcats’ junior high starting quarterback last season, runs a passing drill in practice.
Charles Chappell /

Hutson accepted the Berryville job in April after spending the past three years at Elkins. His challenge is to rebuild a Bobcats program that went 0-7 last season and has won eight games in the past four seasons — equal to the number of wins Hutson’s Elkins team won just last season.

Hutson said the Berryville players have embraced the new offensive philosophy.

“They’re giving their all and they’re great kids,” he said. “It’s going as well as expected, if not even better.”

Jaeden Tanskley, who will be a senior for Berryville this fall, runs hard in practice.
Charles Chappell /

To be successful, Hutson acknowledges, the Bobcats have some improvements to make.

“We’ve got to get a little faster, get a little stronger,” he said. “But, from what I’ve seen on the field so far, they’re giving all they’ve got. And that’s all you can ask for, from any kid.”

Hutson said the recent rains didn’t hinder Berryville’s preparation much, thanks to the Bobcats’ indoor practice facility.

“We can adjust and lift weights and into a little bit of install in that indoor facility,” he said. “It has changed our plans a little bit at times. But it hasn’t just actually killed practice because we’re still able to get something done.”

Hutson said he couldn’t pick out one or two players who’ve stood out in spring practice, but he’s counting on the team’s seniors to set the tone.

“It’s just somebody different every day,” he said. “The seniors are doing a good job of leading and, taking initiative, which is one thing that I asked them the first day I got here — they’ve got to take initiative. It’s their time. It’s their team. We’re going to go as they go. The kids are really responding well.”

Although the Bobcats won’t practice in shoulder pads again until fall drills begin, Hutson said they’ll be busy working to improve.

“Practice never really stops anymore,” he said. “We’ll go four days a week for the most part.”

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: