Lady Bulldogs aiming for second consecutive state championship in 2022


Olivia Hailey

Brinley Murphy looks for her next move in a game against Farragut in 2019. Murphy and the rest of the senior class have been integral to the program since they were freshmen, and as seniors, they’re looking for back-to-back state titles.

The Lady Bulldogs are currently in preparation for their upcoming season in hopes to bring a second straight state title back to the Dawg House. 

Bearden started the season with an 8-0 win at Catholic on Thursday, and they will also take a trip to Murfreesboro to play Father Ryan and Brentwood this weekend.

With 12 seniors returning from the 2021 state championship side, Coach Ryan Radcliffe has high expectations for his on-the-field leaders.

“There is a lot of experience with this class,” Coach Radcliffe said. “The good thing about this group of seniors is that they have experienced how to win a state championship.

“If you want to repeat, you have to do more than you did last year.” 

Captains Peyton Huber, Brinley Murphy, and Becca Roth bring leadership skills, talent, and experience at the state’s highest level. 

“There are definitely some things we have to fix after losing so many seniors last year,” Huber said, “but getting there is definitely possible.”  

Bearden beat Powell 3-0 in a scrimmage last week, their final tuneup before the regular season starts.

Rebuilding after coming down from the state championship peak, Coach Radcliffe intends to keep the team motivated to continue the cycle. The Lady Bulldogs are attempting to win a repeat state championship, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since 2006 and 2007 – the only two other state titles in school history.

“Our message this year to the girls is to create a new standard,” he said. “When you are coming off of an undefeated season and a state championship, it is hard because you feel like, what more can you do?”

This “new standard” has been providing motivation and has been an underlying goal so far this preseason. Additionally, Huber intends to make communication a key factor with 42 other teammates. 

“Making sure we communicate and continue to respect each other is important,” she said.

Most of the players on this roster have already added to the history of one of Bearden’s most decorated programs, but they know they have an even rarer opportunity in front of them this season – earning back-to-back rings.