Strong Senior Class Carries Beckville to 5-0 Start to the Season
The Beckville Bearcats haven’t won more than seven games in a season since 2006, but head coach Lance Gamble’s squad is off to an impressive 5-0 start in 2015.
Beckville outscored its first five opponents of the season, 219-70, as the Bearcats enter their bye week.
“We had a decent amount of experience coming back because I like to play a lot of players, which is hard at the Class 2A level,” Gamble said. “We may not have had a lot of starters returning, but we try and play a lot of people throughout the season and that really helps us because the guys know what to expect in varsity football and are ready to take over the program and lead it to new heights.”
The biggest key to the start this season, according to Gamble, is the senior class.
“The seniors want to be talked about for a long time. Not just as a group that was good at football, but across all the sports. They’re a bunch of great kids who really want to be a special group,” he said. “We’ve been fortunate to stay healthy so far, but it all starts and ends with the seniors. I’ve always said the seniors set the table and the rest of the players follow. Luckily for us, we have great seniors to follow.”
With so much early success, complacency can become an issue for young players not used to success. It is something Gamble and his staff are currently battling going into the bye week.
“We try to talk to them about staying focused on our goals from the start of the season, but it is a challenge to keep young guys focused all the time. It starts with me and I have a tremendous amount of pride and want us to compete and get better every day,” Gamble said. “I try to create a culture of competition throughout the team, which is tough with a lack of numbers, but we really want to fight and grind every day to get better and reach our goals.”
A school that is nearly a decade removed from an eight-win season needed a culture change and Gamble went about it in an old-school way.
“We needed to learn how to work hard and really focus on the small things that are important every time we take the field or even in workouts. We demand hard work and sacrifice from our athletes and this group is really buying in,” Gamble said. “We don’t run anything elaborate on offense or defense. If you tuned into a game from the 1970’s you’d probably think we look pretty similar to that, but it isn’t what we do but how we do it that will determine our success.”