BALDWYN, Miss. (WCBI Sports) – Baldwyn is making another playoff push in 2A. It’s been five years since the Bearcats were state champions. A 33-22 win over Bruce Friday put Baldwyn in the North Half Semifinals. Head coach Michael Gray said the Bearcats hadn’t played in a close game in a while.
“I really enjoyed watching them fight through that and come through and get a win,” Gray said. “That gave them probably more confidence than I could even give them.”
Starting the season 0-2, Baldwyn is learning from some early mistakes.
“We had suffered some injuries early,” Gray said. “It actually, in the long run, was better for us because we had to play more kids and more kids got some experience early in the year that are actually contributing a lot now.”
“After that second loss it was just that feeling of ‘I don’t want this feeling anymore,'” senior Corbin Scott said. “Everybody was talking about our division and how it was weak and we just felt like we had something to prove.”
Baldwyn’s only loss in its last 12 games is to Saltillo, a 5A school.
“Our confidence has definitely grown,” Clayton Gray said. “We’ve had a bunch of leaders step up and everybody is starting to play together.”
“Everybody feeds off each other really,” Shaq Shinault said. “That’s our main goal, just to feed off each other.”
Baldwyn hosts Eupora Friday. Gray and Eupora coach Junior Graham are certainly familiar with each other. Baldwyn beat Eupora twice in 2008. That was the last year that Bearcats won the state championship. Gray says his team is ready.
“They know what’s at stake,” Gray said. “They realize that there are only six teams that get to walk out of here in December that are going to win their last game. We’re going to give it our best shot.”
Friday’s winner gets either Calhoun City or West Bolivar. Then, it’s on to Jackson.