Fendley notes progress of offensive line as Bearden prepares for Catholic

When Bearden offensive line coach Hunter Fendley looked at his roster in the preseason, the fact that senior Dayton Reynolds was the only returning player with experience was an admitted concern. But he has been pleased with how seniors David Farmer, Jeremy Kelton, Kyle Myers, and junior Sean Grogan have progressed. “Going into the season, Dayton was the only one who had started the previous 13 games,” Coach Fendley said. “So I was a little nervous as they were about how they would do.” Coach Fendley saw plenty of effort during the preseason, but the Bulldogs’ offensive line had trouble adapting to the speed of the game, especially against Hardin Valley in the 32-0 season-opening loss, a game where Bearden managed only four first downs. “Hardin Valley kind of shocked them,” Coach Fendley said. “But after that they settled down and played pretty well.” The Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3) have had their ups and downs this season, but their senior leadership still stands strong. “It was nerve-racking at times,” Reynolds said. “But just being able to focus and bring them together and get them ready for the game is a lot of work.” When Bearden plays its final regular season game at Catholic (3-6, 1-5) on Friday night at 7:30, Reynolds and Bearden will have to do without senior running back Josh Haney due to a concussion in last week’s 42-14 loss to West. Haney, a smaller, faster back, has been Bearden’s biggest offensive threat this season, but with him on the sidelines, the bigger, stronger Trent Waters will shoulder most of the carries. Junior Christian Robinson will also get more carries. “Trent is a big guy, and he is hard to bring down; he runs hard and not one guy can bring him down,” Myers said. “Josh runs fast and hard too. They both run up field, and most of the time, they run between the holes, and Christian Robinson is probably one of the fastest of the three.” The Fighting Irish of Catholic have had a rough season, but have been led by junior running back Nolen Coulter who has rushed for over a thousand yards this season. “Catholic is kind of one of those teams that is better on the field than they are on film,” Coach Fendley said. “They are much more aggressive in person than on film, and they too are much improved from the start of the season as far as their defense which moves around a lot and has multiple fronts.” Added Myers: “We have nine games of experience now, so we should be fine.”