Wrapping up the 2019 season with a 2-8 record, Beebe Badgers head coach Chris Gunter is looking to turn the team around in his second year.
Gunter said the team did a lot of things well last season but had spent almost a decade running a primarily rushing offense. Gunter worked to shift the offense to a more 50/50 rushing and passing style.
“Now we’re just trying to play catch-up and trying to get the guys in the right position,” he said. “That’s what we try to stress to our kids — that we only control what we control.”
Returning this season will be junior Gannon Roberts (6-2, 170), who will be taking some snaps as quarterback. Roberts threw for 1,000 yards and
5 touchdowns last season while also running for 400 yards and 3 scores.
Seth Howard (6-3, 220) will return in the tight-end slot, Gunter said. The senior was all-conference last season and caught for 288 yards.
“Seth’s a guy we do multiple things with,” Gunter said. “He can be an extra guy to block, or he can be a receiver.”
Junior Kohlman Matos, (5-11,
265) will be lining up at right tackle. Gunter said Matos unseated a three-year starter last season during the final four games of the year. The coach said Matos may end up bumping inside more this year because he has a little more size than some of the younger linemen.
Other key offensive players this season include sophomore quarterback Zach Grant (6-0, 195), junior running back Adrian Carranco (6-2,175), Hayden Ramsey (5-10, 215) and Lucas Simmons (5-9, 175).
On the other side of the ball, junior Brooks Nail (5-9, 155) and Aiden Brinsfield (5-11, 130) will line up at the corners. Gunter said both are really “blue-collar” players who will do a great job. He said Nail probably has the best lateral quickness on the team and does a good job in short bursts. Nail will also line up as a slot receiver on offense.
The coach said junior Chris Benton started as linebacker about half of the games last year and will be starting again this season. Gunter said Benton does a great job of filling holes and getting where the ball is.
Junior Evan Williams will return as a defensive end after playing about 50 percent of the time last year in the rotation, the coach said.
As for goals this season, Gunter said, the team is just going to focus on trying to get better every single week.
“Whether we succeed or fail, we don’t ever get too low or too high, but we move on to take each day one at a time,” Gunter said.