CORNING, Ark. (KAIT) - First-round football playoff matchups took place across the state Friday night. For the Corning Bobcats, it was six years since their last appearance in the playoffs.
Players and coaches have been all smiles in the week leading up to their first playoff game since 2014.
“We’re just all in a position right now that we’re happy to be where we’re at," Head Coach Larry Treadway said. "But it’s been a tough ride getting here.”
Treadway is entering his second season at the helm of the Corning Bobcat football program, but it’s not his first rodeo. In fact, this is his 46th season as a coach.
His career includes tenures at Paragould and Walnut Ridge, but now, he says his final stop is here in Corning. He is in his second year at the helm of the Bobcats, but there was one catch when he became head coach.
The Bobcats hadn’t won a single game in several years, a losing streak that spanned 42 games.
“I just thought there was a chance that we could get this thing turned and going in the right direction," Coach Treadway said of taking the job. "I knew they were 0-42, but there were a lot of close games that could’ve [broken] that streak and they had not broken it.”
Then on Coach Treadway’s first game, the Bobcats finally broke the streak, beating Rector, and this year, they’re hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2013.
“They came off that 0-42 [record], several of these kids were part of that," Treadway said. "As a result, I think seeing the way it’s turned around, the success they’re having, I think it’s really made them to where they have more energy.”
Coach Treadway says there are a lot of firsts that this team is getting to experience.
While some questioned the decision to take on the challenge of turning a losing streak around, Coach Treadway says the students are the reason why he wanted to coach.
“These are good kids and they’ve worked hard for this," Treadway said. "They deserve this... I hope we win and keep playing, of course, the community is tickled to death, if we didn’t have the pandemic going right now, these bleachers would just be packed, I know how Corning people are.”
With a season that has been full of pressures, not only for Corning potentially making the playoffs, but also with the pandemic, Coach Treadway knew he had to keep his team focused.
He says his message to them was to play each game as if it is their last, and it’s a message that has paid dividends for the Bobcats this season.