Billingsley jr. high team goes undefeated

Published 5:16 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Billingsley's junior high football team went 7-0 this year, the season after going 0-7.

It’s not often a junior high football team overshadows its varsity counterpart.

Billingsley’s varsity team this season reversed its record from 3-7 last year to 7-3 and a playoff berth, but the Bears junior varsity squad had an even more remarkable turnaround: from 0-7 a year ago to 7-0 this season.

The undefeated season was the school’s first since the varsity went 15-0 and won a state championship in 1992.

“We had a good group,” coach Tyson McLean said. “They came out and worked hard, and did what they had to do to win.”

The Bears were primarily a running team, with fullback Terrance Nolen and tailbacks Rashad Caver and Tommy Williams running behind a powerful offensive line; but quarterback Thomas Nichols also made plays in the passing game—despite not playing last season.

Nichols’ primary target was receiver Kendall Elrod.

The defense was paced by a trio of linebackers: Nolen and Cody McGalliard inside and Brandon Jordan on the outside.

McLean mentioned a deep freshman class as a significant reason for the team’s success. Each player mentioned above except Williams, an eighth grader, was a member of that freshman class.

Billingsley’s tallest hurdle was a game at Isabella on Sept. 20. The Bears won, 6-0.

They defeated Maplesville on Oct. 25 in the last game of the regular season. The contest was scoreless at the end of the first quarter, but BHS took a 24-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“We talked about this year was a turnaround season, and that happened for both groups and was something we were real happy about,” McLean said.