Improvement motivates Bulldogs to break streak against Admirals

Bearden’s 2012 football season has been a season of improvement, and the teams that gave them trouble last year have this year seen an entirely new Bulldog team. They beat Hardin Valley. They competed with Maryville. The next step? Beat the Admirals. The Bulldogs haven’t done so since the 2007 playoffs. They have not beaten them in the regular season since 2001. But this year, the Bulldogs have seen enough success to believe that they have a chance to break those streaks in Friday night’s 7:30 kickoff at Farragut (Radio: 98.7). “We’re really excited about the opportunity we have this year,” senior quarterback Nicky Frizen said. “Last year, the mood going into it was not nearly what it is now, and we’re pretty confident in our ability to beat them.” The team confidence is high, even after a well-fought 21-3 loss to Maryville last week. Despite the loss, Bearden takes confidence in knowing that they played one of their best games of the season against the defending state champions. “They can definitely feel a difference in the way they played,” Coach Brad Taylor said, “and they know that they can play with a team like Maryville, so it gives them confidence as they go along.” Some of the Bulldogs’ biggest issues early in the season were penalties, and after minimizing those mistakes against Maryville, they’ve seen the high level of play they can achieve. “We know we didn’t come up with the win, but we executed well and we cut down on penalties, which was huge for us,” senior captain Ethan Pollack said. “So we’re just going to try to do pretty much the same thing for Farragut.” Bearden (5-1, 2-1 District 4-AAA) may appear to have the advantage over the Admirals (3-3, 2-1) based on records, but the Bulldogs are looking beyond the numbers as they prepare for Friday night. “There’s been a lot of talk that with their record being 3-3, everybody thinks they’re kind of down, but they’re not,” Frizen said. “They’ve played a really tough schedule, and they’re a good football team and we’re going to have to play a good game.” This game could also prove to be a source of momentum for the Bulldogs, who still have a difficult schedule remaining. “These last four weeks are not easy,” Coach Taylor said. “We’ve got Farragut, we’ve got West, and Catholic all in these last four ball games, and we could play like we played last Friday and end up 9-1, or we could kind of revert back and end up 6-4.” But regardless of how the Bulldogs find themselves playing, there will be no shortage of motivation to break the Admirals’ winning streak. “Honestly, it would probably be one of the greatest feelings in the world,” Pollack said. Aidan Sears is the sports editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.