BY MADDIE JOINER
FOR THE OPELIKA OBSERVER
With just four seniors, the Beulah Bobcats are gearing up for the 2021 schedule with hopes to improve on last year’s 1-9 record.
Preparing to field a team of just 40 players, and about 30 of them being underclassmen, head coach Matthew Johnson said they are going to rely on some freshmen this fall.
The 2021 season will be Johnson’s third at the helm and he is relying heavily on his young core to step up.
“We’re young, but we’re excited,” Johnson said at High School Media Days Tuesday.
The young Bobcat squad has used the full offseason to their advantage, something they did not have last year due to COVID-19.
“It’s huge to give these young guys some reps,” Johnson said. “Bouncing back from the summer we had last year to that sense of normalcy and player development has been very crucial for us.”
Junior quarterback Noah Higdon said the summer has been very good compared to last year and it’s helped him and their inexperienced team grow.
“We are about a month ahead of where we were last year,” Higdon said. “We got a whole bunch of skilled guys; they are young, really talented and can make a lot of good plays for us.”
The Bobcats have a challenging schedule ahead of them this year, and, as coach Johnson puts it, “There’s no cupcakes”, but he said his hard-working team can be the key to navigating that schedule.
Johnson is relying on his leaders, three of which attended media days: senior TJ Washington, junior Jaxon Hancock and Higdon.
“I’ve been telling them about really adding value to the team, working hard and being good people,” Johnson said. “That’s the big three things I tell them every day. Take care of those things and we’re going to go somewhere.”
Johnson and his Beulah Bobcats will begin their season Friday, Aug. 20 against Loachapoka at 7 p.m. CST.
Beulah Football Schedule:
Aug. 20 – @ Loachapoka
Aug. 27 – @ Cleburne County
Sept. 3 – @ Pike County
Sept. 10 – @ Trinity
Sept. 17 – Montgomery Catholic
Oct. 1 – Childersburg
Oct. 8 – @ Reeltown
Oct. 15 – @ Goshen
Oct. 22 – Dadeville
Oct. 29 – LaFayette