A program rich in tradition has a new leader charged with carrying on and adding to its legacy. Woody McMillen enters his first season as Bellevue head football coach ready to continue and build upon the Tigers’ winning ways.
Bellevue has finished 7-5 in each of the past four seasons. The Tigers have bowed out in the second round of the Class 1A state playoffs in each of those seasons. McMillen, the program’s third coach in four years, hopes to turn the Tigers into a state powerhouse.
“Instead of developing a team, we’re looking at it as developing a program. We’re trying to develop younger guys and give them an identity,” said the former Walton-Verona head coach and Ludlow assistant. “It’s about developing relationships and a sense of trust.”
Leading this year’s team will be seniors Cam Chase (RB/LB), Tyler Noonchester (OL/DL), Michael Thompson (OL/DL), Nick Ackerson (DB/WR/RB), and Cam Fulmer (TE/DL). Quickly building trust among the veterans who have endured multiple coaching changes in their time at Bellevue was critical.
“They seem to have warmed to me and I to them,” said McMillen. “They are working hard and have been very responsive to what we’re doing here.”
The Tigers have more than 40 players on the roster, a significant increase over last year’s 28. Bellevue will field freshmen and junior varsity teams this year to give those younger players more game experience. At all levels, the coaching staff will keep the schemes simple and let the players loose to play with aggression. Longtime Tigers supporters should like watching this squad.
“We’re going to line up and try to be physical. It will look like Bellevue teams of old,” said McMillen. “Bellevue is a special place with a great tradition. I am honored to be a part of the tradition by serving as the head coach.”
Aug. 21 at Gallatin County
Aug. 28 vs. Dayton
Sept. 4 vs. Bishop Brossart
Sept. 11 at Newport
Sept. 18 vs. Holmes
Sept. 25 at Bethlehem
Oct. 9 vs. Beechwood
Oct. 16 at Dayton
Oct. 23 at Ludlow
Oct. 30 vs. Holy Cross
All games start at 7 p.m. unless noted.