Bobcats competitive despite record
As Berryville coach Lee Atkins put it, 2014 was a rebuilding year. The Bobcats lost four offensive lineman and a great running back in Ethan Chapin from last year's graduating class. They also lost seven defensive starters. With some senior leaders returning at the skill positions, Atkins still had high hopes for the 2014 season.
"We knew Aiden Brummett, Tate Ferguson and Deonte Payton would be team leaders this season and hoped we could utilize their skills to win some games," Atkins said.
The season started off well for for the Bobcats, going 2-1 in non-conference play, including a win in the Carroll County Super Bowl. Berryville's one loss came against West Fork (9-1) the 3A-1 champions. Once conference play started for the Bobcats, things got much more difficult. Due to numerous injuries, many Bobcat players were forced into action a year before they were ready to take the field.
"Injuries and a lack of experience would limit our chances for victory throughout conference play," Atkins said. "On the bright side, a lot of younger players gained valuable playing time on the varsity team."
While the Bobcats failed to win a game in conference, they were competitive in a number of their losses. This is something that some teams can't say and Atkins is proud of the way his team performed all year.
"We came up just inches away from an overtime game against Lincoln," Atkins said. "Our Gentry and Huntsville losses were much closer than the scoreboard indicates. All-in-all, I am very proud of our team. My pride of the team doesn't rise or fall with victories on the scoreboard."
Atkins and his coaching staff are already getting ready for the 2015 football season.
"Coach David Broseus is designing an outstanding weight-lifting schedule for all of our young athletes to follow five days a week," Atkins said. "All positions are wide open and we are challenging our boys to fight for for the right to start in 2015."
Brummett led the Bobcats in rushing with 790 yards. Payton ended the year with 572 yards rushing. Ferguson was next in line with 338 yards rushing. Jacob Graham had 318 yards on the season. Emilio Duarte had 129 yards. Graham was 23-of-40 with 260 yards and 12 touchdowns. Timmond Turner led the team in receptions, catching 16 passes for 196 yards. Defensively, Ferguson led the team with 97 tackles. Duarte had 71 tackles followed by Garrett Record with 56. Bryan King had 53 and Layne Chester had 51. Turner had two sacks. Record, Duarte and Ferguson all had one sack. Ferguson and Record both had interceptions.