BY NORM BETZ –
The Mena Bearcats finally got to put the pads on and do a little hitting in front of a packed stadium, during the Annual Red & Black Scrimmage. The Bearcats were eager to hit after playing for a 4A State Championship to finish out the 2014 season.
After a record-setting year last year that ended with a 48-14 loss in the 4A State Championship to Warren, Mena is ready to take on the 2015 season. The Bearcats have lost a lot of skilled players from last year’s team, in fact, almost every skilled position player, but they’re a new team and ready to make their own history this year.
“We lost a lot of key players from last year,” said Bearcats head coach Tim Harper. “We’re working hard and looking forward to hitting someone in a different colored jersey.”
It’s been a long off-season of lifting, conditioning, working hard and learning new plays for the Bearcats, and they were finally able to show off some of what they’ve worked so hard for, during the annual scrimmage. All teams participated in the scrimmage, seventh and eighth grade teams, as well as, junior high and varsity teams.
It was a chance for the community to fill the stadium and cheer on the Bearcats as they prepare to open the season. Mena traveled to Pulaski County to scrimmage 5A Jacksonville on Monday night, part of the Arkansas Athletic Association Benefit Games. It was the first opportunity for the Bearcats to actually hit players from another team.
Both the Red & Black and the benefit game, helped prepare the Bearcats for the beginning of the season, which kicks off on Friday, September 4. The Bearcats will host the 5A De Queen Leopards in their first non-conference game of the 2015 season. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m., at Randall Whorton Field.