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The Bears are invading Mount Olive

If you went to a West Lincoln game last season, you could feel the energy that BJ Smithhart injected into the program as a first-year head coach. The Bears hope to keep that momentum rolling in 2018 as they travel to Mount Olive for a 7 p.m. kickoff tonight.

This will be the 20th season of Bear football and last year the results were some of the best in school history (5-5 regular season record, 3-1 district mark, home playoff game).

“We’ve only got four seniors this season and we lost a great group of senior leaders to graduation, so we’ve got some growing up to do during the season,” said Smithhart. “Our offensive line is the strength of our team, no doubt. At the same time, we don’t have a ton of depth, so a lot of those guys will have to play both ways.”

The line will be blocking for one of the best backs in Lincoln County in junior speedster Michael Brothern. As a sophomore Brothern broke free for 747 yards and averaged 7.5 yards a carry.

Smithhart and his coaching staff of Brad Bland, David Gilbert, and Jeffrey Daniels have some idea of what they’ll see from the Mount Olive Pirates tonight.

“I’m sure they’ll run the ball, they’re usually a team that works a lot out of the I-formation,” said Smithhart. “From what I’ve seen they’ve got a good tailback and fullback.”

Last season West Lincoln jumped up 14-0 over the Pirates before ultimately falling 26-20 in the 2017 season opener.

Story by Cliff Furr