Gridiron 2016’s Bogue Chitto Preview: Experience lacking, but talent is not for the Bobcats

Published 10:00 pm Saturday, August 13, 2016

File photo/  Senior wide receiver Terrence  Morgan (above) will bring experience to what is otherwise a young Bobcats team in 2016.

File photo/
Senior wide receiver Terrence Morgan (above) will bring experience to what is otherwise a young Bobcats team in 2016.

Like some of the other teams in the area, the injury bug took a huge toll on the Bogue Chitto Bobcats last year. Its effect was all too noticeable.

The Bobcats finished the season 1-10 overall and winless in district play.  That season is in the rearview now and coach Gareth Sartin and his team look to show they are better than last season’s record would indicate.

“Last year was a tough year,” Sartin said. “We improved as the year went on but injuries really hurt us. We just have to get stronger.”

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Sartin said he and his staff are taking precautions by teaching players multiple positions should injuries plague their team again.

The 2016 version of the Bobcats may be one of the youngest teams in the area with only four seniors on the roster. However, Sartin feels there is a lot of talent in the upcoming pool of youth. He hopes that talent will make up for his team’s overall lack of depth.

On offense, the Bobcats will have a new quarterback leading their spread attack. Junior Tre Nettles spent last season at the wide receiver position but has been pegged as the Bobcats’ starting quarterback heading into the 2016 season.

Sartin said getting Nettles acclimated to the new position will be a process, but he is confident in his abilities.

“He’ll make mistakes but he’s a competitor. He’s gotten a lot of reps, he just has to get his footwork down,” the head coach said.

Senior running back Sherman Jackson (291 yards, 1 TD) should be expected to see a large amount of carries out of the backfield for the Bobcats.

Bogue Chitto also returns its leading receiver from last season in senior wideout Dee Dillon. Dillon hauled in 24 catches for 311 yards and four touchdowns last season. Senior Kody Halford and junior Tucker Lambert should also make contributions in the receiving game for the Bobcats.

Fans can expect to see some of the same players on the other side of the ball as the Bobcats try to compensate for their lack of depth.

Bogue Chitto’s 4-3 defense will be spearheaded by Sherman Jackson (73 tackles) at the linebacker position. Junior defensive lineman Eli Wallace (24 tackles, four sacks) will lead the defensive line.

When he isn’t throwing passes of his own, Nettles will be in the defensive backfield attempting to stall drives. Lambert and Halford will likely accompany him.
Sartin said the key to a successful season will be getting his young team to mature as the season progresses.

“Getting them to compete and to learn to trust each other will be crucial,” he said. “Work ethic deals with how you persevere.”

The Bobcats begin their season against rival Loyd Star in the annual Possum Bowl on Aug. 19.