Booneville has lost all of 16 — of 85 — games in head coach Scott Hyatt’s seven-year tenure. The preseason record is not nearly as pristine.
There are multiple reasons, a major one being those encounters are not a point of emphasis with Hyatt and his staff.
For example, the “games” against the little league teams, a tradition Hyatt started when he became the head coach – he admits he borrowed the idea from the film “Friday Night Lights” – the senior Bearcats have seldom fared well.
The idea is to show the kids who are into football what the future can hold, even if the number of players is on the decline.
“Our (roster) numbers aren’t where they were five or 10 years ago,” said Hyatt. “We’ve lost population but every coach I talk to (says) numbers are down. I think some of it has to do with this concussion era, I think some of it is due to kids don’t want to commit to something.”
Still, since it has now been a part of the preseason for eight straight years, there are some, like fullback Bryson May, who has been a part of the matchup in both uniforms, multiple times.
While school officials are anxiously awaiting enough grass growth at Bearcat Stadium and on the senior high practice field beside Rippy Fieldhouse, Friday’s game was played on the junior high practice field just west of the stadium.
If addition to the encounters with the little league teams the Bearcats also play a scrimmage game the final week before the regular season.
As is typically the case, that game will be on the Monday of the week, Aug. 25. However, what is atypical is the opponent. Rather than the now conference foe Charleston, the Bearcats will be facing Class 7A Springdale and Class 4A Shiloh Christian.
The scrimmage will be played in Springdale with JV action starting at 6 and varsity action to follow said.
Making the longest road trip of the year for a scrimmage, let alone playing a 7A team and traditional power who, like the Bearcats, are dropping classification, was not what Hyatt had in mind.
“Heck, nobody would play us,” he said. “(Head coach) Dale (Mann) had (an opening) but they’re going all the way to Jessieville. Mena had one and they’re driving all the way to Fordyce.”
“I was going to get in with Lavaca and Pottsville but I didn’t really want to scrimmage Lavaca since we play them, in week 10.
With the maximum allowable three full contact practices – the portion that followed the game against elementary age students – Hyatt’s team came into the week healthy and will take it’s three tackle to the ground practices Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week before next Monday’s scrimmage in northwest Arkansas.