Video: Student Athlete of the Week: South Pontotoc Cougars, South Pontotoc HS, Football
PONTOTOC, Miss. (WCBI) — The South Pontotoc Cougars football team has had a tough stretch the last two years with young talent. This year’s team is led by ten seniors. The Cougars have also returned a kickoff for a touchdown in six straight games, and now they will look to stay undefeated in division play on Friday night.
They’ve had a remarkable season so far. This team started over nine freshmen last season, and now are older and more mature, and that’s been the biggest difference for this team.
“These kids believe. They believed in the process. They stuck with the process. They hung in there when things weren’t going so good, and they kept working and chipping away,” says coach Michael Bradley.
“Last year we started about nine or something freshmen, and then that really hurt us a lot because we didn’t have that many guys that didn’t want to step up and be on the team. We just done came a long way,” adds senior running back Tyrese Fitzpatrick.
“Our guys, you know, come out and we practice. We just try hard. If you go practice good, you play good, and so our guys have just really realized that,” says teammate Nathan Hester.
The Cougars will look for that eighth win this coming Friday night when they travel to Mooreville. It will also be a return home for the first time for Coach Bradley; he was a player for the Troopers, and coached there from 1996 to 2002.
“Anytime you go home it’s special. I had some great years at Mooreville. Mooreville’s got a really good team this year. They run an offense that’s very difficult to duplicate in practice, and it’s going to be a big challenge for us,” Bradley says.
“This game Friday night is going to be good because both have a lot of heart. We want to put it all on the line to see who’s going to win,” says Cougars running back Eddie Ivy.
This team is seven and two, and are one win away from clinching their first home playoff game since 1985.
“It would be a big, big stride in the program as far as we wanted the program to be. Making the playoffs was the goal this year, and we are re-adjusting those a little and we can continue to move forward,” Coach Bradley tells WCBI.
Fitzpatrick adds, “It would mean a lot to me and the seniors in how much we put in this work because we’ve done swiped out half of our goals, and the biggest goal is to have the first playoff game here.”