#HSFT16: Stop No. 33 – South Pontotoc Cougars

HEAD COACH: Michael Bradley
Aug 18 Hamilton Home
Aug 26 Okolona Home
Sept 2 Mantachie Away
Sept 9 Belmont Away
Sept 16 Bruce Home
Sept 23 East Webster Away
Sept 30 Hatley* Away
Oct 7 Nettleton* Home
Oct 14 Aberdeen* Home
Oct 21 Mooreville* Away
Oct 28 North Pontotoc* Home
*District games

PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI) — When Michael Bradley arrived at South Pontotoc to be the school’s head football coach, he knew it would be a challenge to rebuild the Cougars’ football program.

But the school is beginning to turn the corner on the gridiron, and it all starts in the offseason.

“It has been a work in progress,” Bradley said. “Every day we have gotten a little bit better. The culture is changing. We have a lot of kids coming to our 5 AM work out. They’re buying into what we’re trying to do.

“We’re a year older and experienced. Our kids are enjoying what they’re doing. They like coming to the weight room and being around one another. They like working out and trying to get better. They’ve done a great job at buying into what we’re trying to sell here.”

You heard that correctly, coach Bradley’s Cougars are eager to get to the weight room and work out at 5 in the morning.

That’s a tough selling point, but the mindset and culture has changed at South Pontotoc as the young Cougars are beginning to grow and mature within their environment.

“Coach Bradley has been here for 2 and a half years and he has instilled change in the program,” junior Troy Bone said. “I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m very proud and excited to see what it has to offer this season.”

“Ever since Coach Bradley has been here, the school not just the team is more determined in what we do,” senior Tanner Huffman said. “We take pride in what we do. You can tell every time we step into the gym, we’re always working and trying to improve.”

South Pontotoc’s best days are ahead of them but it’s the past that still motivates them.

The young Cougars have not won a division game in 5 years and last season they finished the season starting 9 freshmen. They hope that this year is another step in the right direction towards competing for the postseason.

“As of right now, we’ve set goals to have a winning season and make the playoffs and do better than we’ve ever done,” Huffman said.

“The fact we’re older and our kids are competing against others their own age will help out a lot,” coach Bradley said. “This year’s juniors and sophomores had a lot of success in junior high. We hope that translates to the field on Friday nights.”

The Cougars will begin the season at home on a Thursday night against Hamilton before finishing up the month against Okolona.

Categories: 2016, 60 in 60 2018, High School Sports, Local Sports

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