BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
Coach Tim Harper and the Bearcats have returned from their trip to Kansas City, where they competed in a Regional USA Football 7-on-7 camp. The camp was hosted in Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bearcats played in six games during their time at the camp, playing against teams from Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Nebraska.
After competing, the Bearcats finished with a 1-5 record, but despite the record, Coach Harper was really proud of his guys. “I know the record may not show it, but I feel like we competed really well and got better. We lost two of the games on the last play and three of the five we lost by less than a touchdown.” The Bearcats competed well in each of their games, but played especially well on the defensive side of the ball. The most points Mena gave up during the camp was 26 points and the defense showed a lot of grit. Typically in a 7-on-7 game 40 plus points may be scored by both sides. Coach Harper commented on the defensive saying, “I was really pleased with the way our defense competed. We didn’t move the ball as well offensively as I would have liked, but I was impressed by the improvement of our defense.”
Many of the games in Arrowhead came down to the wire for the Bearcats against their opponents. Mena took Westmoore Oklahoma, a 6A powerhouse to the last minute of regulation before losing. When the Bearcats moved to the tournament, they lost to Glendale Missouri on the last play of the game in OT. “In the summer, you aren’t truly looking at your success completely based on wins and losses, but improvement and guys playing well. I know the record doesn’t show it, but in that sense, we played well,” explains Coach Harper. The Bearcats had several young players that got a good amount of reps during the six games, allowing for them to mature throughout the camp. “We had some guys get some good exposure and reps that gives them great experience. This was a good environment for them, a chance to play when nothing serious is on the line. Specifically, I was really impressed by Mark Wilson,” says Harper.
The Bearcats are back in Mena and are training in the annual Fast Cats Camp for the next three weeks and are looking forward to the start of fall practice. Look to a future edition of the Pulse for more coverage on the Bearcats.