BALLINGER, Texas — The Ballinger Bearcats are currently 2-1 heading into Friday's matchup, when they host the Llano Yellow Jackets.
Led by head coach Chuck Lipsey, the Bearcats are coming off two big wins. After a tough loss to the Jim Ned Indians in week one, Ballinger bounced back by shutting out Colorado and taking down Clyde in weeks two and three. Llano is 3-1 and the Bearcats are looking for revenge after losing to them last season.
"We've had a good week of practice and we still have things we need to work on,” Lipsey said. “Llano is a very worthy opponent, so we know that we're going to put together four quarters and play well in all three phases for four quarters to have a chance to win it. The kids believe we can win it and us coaches believe it, so we just need to go out and execute."
Despite missing a game because of COVID, Ballinger gained momentum from their previous wins. Senior quarterback and team captain Carter Arrott said they're ready for the upcoming challenge.
"We've got a good game plan going into it this year,” Arrott said. “I think that we're better prepared this year. Last year we had talent on paper and everything, but this year it's a different group. We're hard workers and we know what we've got to do to get it done. We have fun while we do it, and so it should be interesting for sure. Definitely going to be a dogfight."
The old saying "hard work pays off" will be a key statement for the Bearcats Friday night. Senior running back Beau Perkins said the camaraderie between the players and coaches has increased tremendously this season.
"We have each other's backs,” Perkins said. “When we're out there we're going to play hard together. One person might mess up on a play, but other people will pick them up and we'll live to fight another day. We're a good team out here and we take teamwork very seriously."
Besides the game against Jim Ned, the Llano matchup will be the most important one for the Bearcats before they begin district play.
“They're very athletic on the offensive side and fly the football on defense,” Lipsey said. “They're well coached and they do a great job so we need to match the intensity early. We need to stay with them early in the ballgame and the best team will win at the end."
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bearcat Stadium.