By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
Duke Upshaw is quickly becoming a household name. That process could speed up as August rolls in.
Baldwyn’s eighth grader, the basketball team’s leading scorer, made his mark on the football field first and now has the chance to make an even bigger mark.
Baldwyn opened spring football practice last Monday and a new role for Upshaw is one thing the Bearcats will be looking at.
“We’re going to play him where he fits us best. He is going to take some snaps. It’s not necessarily going to be a Wildcat because he does throw the football pretty well,” Baldwyn coach Michael Gray said.
The incoming freshman athlete ran for a team-high 821 yards on 96 carries and scored 10 touchdowns last season. He also returned 12 kicks for 414 yards, a 34.5 yard average, three to the end zone.
That’s just one thing on Gray’s list of things to get done in the 15-day spring period.
“We’re trying to find some inside linebackers,” he said. “That’s our biggest question mark. We feel like we’ve got a little depth up front and the secondary isn’t bad but we’re really trying to find somebody to play inside.”
Baldwyn will host a spring game on May 11 with Red Bay, (Ala.) and Mantachie. The Bearcats went 5-7 last season with a loss to Broad Street in the first round of the playoffs.
Among the losses to graduation are quarterback Walker Wildmon and lineman Parrish Huddleston. Huddleston signed with Northeast Mississippi CC.
Bradley Boose led the team in carries and touchdowns last season with 13 scores and 746 yards on 115 carries.
“Our goal for the spring is to get better fundamentally, tackling and being crisp on things that we know that we should do well,” Gray said. “We’ve put a lot of emphasis on tackling and drill work.”