Middle school football season begins with new faces

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By Brian Blair

There will be a lot of new faces around the Bowling Middle School football team this season.

After last year’s team finished the season with a perfect 8-0 regular season and a loss to Grant County in the opening round of the playoffs ,head coach Jeff Jump decided to step down.

His replacement is not a stranger to the program. Tommy Tackett took over as head coach.

While Tackett plans to keep many of the same traditions as Jump, the one thing he will not have will be the most successful class of eighth-graders the program has seen. Many of those players are now working hard and hoping to translate their middle school success into wins Saturday night at the high-school level.

With their departure, Tackett is left with just two returning players from last year and only one starter.

One thing not lacking is size.

According to Tackett, the team has, “A lot of big guys and a little bit of speed.” He said the key to this year will come in teaching them how to play and then the kids executing.

“They have to learn the plays and execute,”  Tackett said.

As far as replacing Jump and any pressure that may come with that, Tackett said that is not a problem.

“I don’t feel any pressure,” Tackett said.

He admits he does have some usual jitters before games.

“I get more nervous on game days,” Tackett said.

The coach said if his big guys are able to stay healthy and his other players learn the system that he can have some success.

“I think we will be alright.,” Tackett said.

The Rebels were in action last night at Henry County.