BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - Cody Pemberton passed away this summer in a car accident. But he has not been forgotten by his Brookland football teammates.
They think about him every day and are playing for him this season. "You know it's our motivation. It's the reason we go out and play. You know Cody is my best friend and every time I come out here I think about him. You know dressing out with us and that smile he had and how excited he was for this season so every play we're going to go our hardest because that's exactly what he would want," Brookland senior quarterback Garrett Barnes said.
"It means a lot knowing that Cody would want us to play hard for him and just follow the right path and do it. Do what he would want us to do and win some games," Zac Reynolds, Brookland senior tight end and linebacker said.
"We'll have stickers on the helmet and really that's going to be a personal thing. I'm not going to push and use that as motivation, but I think they're going to use it for personal motivation. That's their friend growing up from little bitty boys together," Chuck Speer, Brookland's head football coach said.
On the field Chuck Speer comes from Corning and takes over as the new head coach. His players have definitely responded to him. "You know he's a great coach. I love coach Speer and just aside from football you know he's taught me how to be a man. You know some aspects of being a man and he's built me into a leader and as well as some of the other guys on the team," Barnes said.
The Bearcats ran a spread offense last year, but coach Speer brings his wing T running offense with him to Brookland. The Bearcats will focus on the run more because of their player personnel and Speer's system. But it's certainly a diverse offense. "It's a hybrid offense. We can go into a spread real quick, but I feel like this Brookland team is real deep in the running back position. I think we're five deep with guys that I can trust, put the ball in their hands and they're going to run hard and do a good job at it," Speer said. "It's been hard having to learn a new playbook, but we learned it in spring practice and we're perfecting it now," Reynolds said.
Like a lot of 4A teams a lot of players will play both ways, but Brookland brings back a lot of experience. The Bearcats will have 15 seniors in 2015.
Brookland starts its season at Cedar Ridge on September 4th.
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