WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - The Walnut Ridge Bobcats are a year removed from a 3-8 season but don't expect that to hurt their chances of winning in 2015.
They bring back their starting quarterback in Will Weir, who proved to be somewhat of a dual threat. The Bobcats also return do-it-all senior Martin Crisler who will provide force in the backfield and on defense at the free safety position.
While at times the Bobcat offense struggled in 2014, they did score a lot of points in several games including three loses where they scored over 20 points.
The 3-2A Conference is expected to be loaded up once again with Cross County, Earle, and EPC all bring back some talent from a year that saw the three teams tie for the conference title. "You know everybody talks about playing for fourth," said Head Coach Larry Treadway, "But I really think this group my surprise everybody."
Walnut Ridge is buying into the fact that they could be a good bet as a long shot to contend for the conference title. "I think we're the dark horse in this group," Treadway added.
The players are also feeling confident about their chances in 2015. "You know Cross County, EPC, the new addition of Earle last year, they'll always be good and it seems like we're facing some speed every week," said Senior Martin Crisler, "Which is actually something we have and can matchup well against, I think this year."
One thing that seems to have been a consistent struggle in Walnut Ridge over the years has been defense, something that has been a focus this offseason. "I always say this and it's my fault," said Treadway, "We don't get after people but Martin (Crisler) will get after you." The players have taken note of the added emphasis on defense. "We've been working really hard on the outside," said Senior Kyle Nunley, "It's been intense."
Walnut Ridge will open the season against Corning on September 4.