Bobcats’ schedule is difficult by design

Tuesday, November 16, 2021
The 2021-22 Berryville Bobcats are (front row, from left) Johniethan John, Dale Nagtalon, Kanon Coatney, Zach Boaz, (middle row) William Dean, Andrew McClellan, Chet Hudgens, Ashton Blok, Kade Davidson, Nate Allen, Josh Butler, (back row) Jack Dignan, Kennon Helmlinger, Weston Teague, Jake Wilson, Lucas Pierce and D.J. Colbert.
Charles Chappell /

The Berryville Bobcats’ early-season schedule might be the toughest in school history, coach Brent Compton said Monday.

That didn’t happen by chance. Compton intentionally scheduled a grueling nonconference slate in the hopes of preparing the Bobcats for conference and postseason play.

“It’s not about the immediate future,” Compton said. “It’s about the process and the end result. We’re coming into this season with the outlook of preparing for conference and postseason play. And if we can stay healthy and we can progress like we hope to, we hope that the memories at the end of the season are going to be long-lasting in a positive way.”

Coming off a 22-7 season in 2020-21 that ended with a three-point loss to defending Class 4A state champion Magnolia in the second round of the state tournament, Berryville certainly appears poised to have a season to remember. The Bobcats opened the season Monday night, traveling to Green Forest. This weekend, they’ll hit the road to northeast Arkansas to play in a tournament at Brookland before taking some time off for Thanksgiving.

Three starters return from last season — senior center Weston Teague and junior guards Nate Allen and Jake Wilson. And the Bobcats get a big boost with the return of senior point guard Kade Davidson, who missed all but two games last season with a broken leg. Davidson started every game as a sophomore and Compton said his return has a big impact.

“Having him back totally changes the dynamics of our team,” Compton said. “We’re a different team now. He’s a guy that creates opportunities for his teammates, where last year we had to transition and play a little differently when we lost him.”

Davidson led Berryville with 19 points in a benefit game against Siloam Springs last Thursday at Bobcat Arena. Class 5A Siloam Springs held off a fourth-quarter comeback by the Bobcats to win the game 53-48. Wilson added 11 points for Berryville.

The 6-8 Teague could play a vital role for Berryville as well after recording 20 points, 18 rebounds and 10 blocked shots in the state tournament loss to Magnolia last season.

“It’s just a matter of being consistent with Weston,” Compton said. “And not only with Weston, but his teammates getting him the ball. It’s a shared responsibility, so to speak. The sky’s the limit for Weston.”’

With a talented, experienced roster, Compton acknowledges that expectations are high for the Bobcats.

“Everything’s just got to click,” he said. “Our chemistry was so good last year. These kids care about each other. It’s just a matter of getting that chemistry to click and for everybody to get used to playing with each other.”

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