The 2009 Bearcats began the season 0-5, with losses to Booneville, Saltillo, New Albany, Nettleton and Ripley – all bigger schools in terms of enrollment.
Come division play, Baldwyn then rattled off five straight victories, outscoring its Division 1-2A opponents 169-41, to win its fifth straight division title.
The Bearcats extended their winning streak to seven games with dominating playoff wins over O’Bannon and West Tallahatchie. Despite losing by one point, 13-12, to West Bolivar in the Class 2A quarterfinals and not successfully defending its 2008 state championship, it was still a successful season for the Bearcats.
This season, the Bearcats are 1-2 after beating Class 3A Kossuth in Week 1 before losing the next two games to larger schools Booneville and Saltillo. Up next for Baldwyn is the Daily Journal’s third-ranked large school, New Albany.
“First time in a long time,” New Albany senior linebacker Riley Alef said of his team being 3-0 to start a season. “We’re looking to go 4-0, but we can’t take Baldwyn lightly.”
Corinth, which dropped to 0-2 after Friday night’s 14-7 loss at New Albany, is a team that is fully capable of pulling off a run in Class 3A similar to Baldwyn’s of last year. The Warriors just hope to survive upcoming non-division contests against Shannon, Tishomingo County and Itawamba AHS without significant injuries.
“I think they’re (Corinth) the best team in that division out of Booneville, Ripley and them,” said New Albany quarterback Tyler Basil, whose team is undefeated thanks to wins over those three Division 1-3A teams.
Shannon is another team that is 0-2 to start the season, but that record is not a true indicator of what is to come. Just take a look at who the Red Raiders played in their first two games: top-ranked Daily Journal large school and nationally-ranked West Point on the road and a Memphis East team loaded with NCAA Division I talent.
Not to mention, the Red Raiders were without its best running back, Bodarius Taylor (undisclosed reason), and had starters out due to injury.
After a bye this past week, Shannon hopes to get its first win of 2010 at Corinth on Friday night.
“Our main goal – of course, we want to win,” said Corinth head coach Jimmy Mitchell. “But we’ve talked about it: In a non-division game, we want to make sure when the game is over, win or lose, we’ve gotten better that night.”
Contact John Wilbert at 678-1572 or firstname.lastname@example.org