Bobcats set for kickoff
It’s a brand-new season with a new coach for the Berryville Bobcats, who will start their 2021 campaign on Friday night at Cedarville.
The Bobcats will be playing their first game under Bryan Hutson, a veteran coach who took over the Berryville program in the spring after three seasons at Elkins.
Berryville scrimmaged against Mountain View and Yellville-Summit on Aug. 19 at Mountain View, with Hutson describing the Bobcats’ performance as average.
“We did some good things,” he said. “We did some bad things, but the effort was there, which was the main thing we want. And we can correct a lot of the mistakes we made.”
No score was kept during the scrimmage sessions. Still, Hutson said it was good to see his team face live competition.
“We haven’t seen any film on these (other teams) and defensively we didn’t know what they were going to be. So there’s no way to really prepare for what we’re going to see. And they both are in different things. And so it’s kind of tough. But our kids played hard, and we’ll correct the mistakes that we made.”
Berryville faces a challenge against Cedarville, which went 7-4 last season, including a 44-6 season-opening victory at Bobcat Stadium. Senior running back Darryl Kattich, a two-time All-State selection, averaged more than nine yards a carry and finished with 2,007 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns. Kattich ran for 254 yards and three TDs against Berryville, including a 99-yard scoring run.
“They’re really, really good,” Hutson said of the Pirates. “They’ve been in the system in this offense and defense for a long time. The kids know what they’re doing. They’re well-coached at what they do. And what they do is hard to stop once you get it down. So our work will be cut out for us, but we’re going to get the kids prepared to do the best we can. That’s why you play the game, to see what happens.”
Hutson has moved the Bobcats to a Spread offense led by sophomore quarterback Chris Hipps. But he said that doesn’t necessarily mean Berryville will throw the ball 50 times a game. The Bobcats have a pair of physical running backs in 5-10, 215-pound senior Jaeden Tanksley and 5-9, 175-pound junior Tun Oo, who started at nose guard last season.
“We want to have the option to throw, but most Shotgun teams are going to try to establish the run. We’re going to try to do what it takes to win football games.”