25 Aug 2010 501 Football Extra: Bauxite Miners
Bauxite has been a storied program for years, reaching the Class 3A state semifinals in 2007 before falling to Shiloh Christian. The Miners won a state title in 1996. Watson, who moves into administration, led the Miners to a 177-43 record during his tenure, which began in 1990. With 245 wins total (including stops at Gillett and Hampton), he stands seventh in victories among Arkansas high school football coaches.
The Miners’ 9-3 finish in 2009 continued the happy trend and sent Watson into administration on a high. They finished 6-1 in the 5-3A and advanced to the Class 3A state playoffs as the league’s second seed. Bauxite beat Little Rock Episcopal in the first round, 56-21, before falling to Rivercrest in the second, 40-20.
Four starters return to run the split back veer offense, and five are back for the multiple defensive looks.
“Winning the Magnet Cove game early in the year really showed our kids they had to play four quarters every week to be a good football team,” Clancy said. “That is what they did, and it gave them the confidence to be successful the rest of the year.”
But Bauxite moves up not only in classification, but also into one of the toughest leagues in Class 4A. The Miners join Ashdown, De Queen, Malvern, Nashville, Pulaski Academy, Pulaski Oak Grove and Pulaski Robinson in the 7-4A.
“We will be entering one of the toughest conferences in the state this fall,” Clancy said. “I expect our team to go out and compete week-in and week-out. We will have to play great football every week because there are no easy games in this conference.
“I expect our kids to play with great determination and sense of pride like every other Bauxite Miner football team has before them, and if they continue to do that, I feel we will have a chance to be competitive in this conference.”
Team strengths, he said, would be teamwork, attitude and speed in the skill positions, but the Miners will lack size, speed and depth, especially as they stack up against some of the top programs in the state.
“Offensively, I expect us to take care of the football and keep the chains moving until we reach the end zone,” Clancy said. “We have some playmakers on this side of the ball, and we are going to try to get them the ball as much as possible. It will take all 11 of them to be successful. We need to have great play out of our linemen, so that our skill kids will be able to execute.”
Defensively, he is stressing fundamentals.
“We want to play very fast and physical, so that our kids have confidence in what we are trying to do defensively,” Clancy said. “The down linemen will have to play physical and stop the run and get us a pass rush when needed. Linebackers will need to be physical and play sideline to sideline. The secondary will need to be able to defend against the pass and be able to come up and make plays against the run.”
5 Players to Watch: Ty Hughes (Sr. QB/FS), Taylor Appling (Sr. OT/DT), Ryan Duncan (Sr. OT/DT), Tim Dunlap (Jr. QB/SS) and Tanner Bates (Sr. RB/FS).
1 Must-see Game: Glen Rose in the season opener. “This is the big game that has been played at the end of the year the past couple of years. It’s a great atmosphere for a football game and a big game for both schools to start out the season. Both towns look forward to it every year, and a lot of bragging rights are on the line.” – Clancy
Sept. 3 at Glen Rose
Sept. 10 at Carlisle
Sept. 17 Jessieville
Sept. 24 at Malvern*
Oct. 1 Ashdown*
Oct. 8 at Pulaski Robinson*
Oct. 15 Pulaski Academy*
Oct. 22 Pulaski Oak Grove*
Oct. 29 at DeQueen*
Nov. 5 Nashville*