Bearden had an outstanding 8-2 season last year before falling to Dobyns-Bennett in the first round of the playoffs. That loss is something that has motivated linebacker Kole Matherly.
“I took a picture of the scoreboard last year and I put it on my wall so that every morning I wake up and look at it and I think I’ve got to get better today, I’ve got to keep working,” said Matherly.
The senior will be the leader of a 3-4 defense that held opponents to single digits in over half its games.
Offensively, Bearden adds All-State running back Malachi Horton, who transferred from Morristown West. Horton will run behind an experienced offensive line led by Appalachian State commitment Chandler Greer.
“We think we can be pretty good, we’ve got some guys to replace but we return a good offensive, some good inside linebackers and secondary players,” said head coach Brad Taylor. “How we do at quarterback and at outside linebacker and defensive line, those are gonna be keys. If we come along and create some depth there, we’re gonna be ok.”
The Bulldogs open with two tough games against Sevier County and defending state champion Fulton.
Aug. 23 at Sevier County
Aug. 30 vs. Fulton
Oct. 17 vs. Farragut
Oct. 25 at Maryville