BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – The Bridgeport football team might be under new leadership this year, but that’s about the only change for the Indians.
A 28th straight appearance in the postseason was the result of Bridgeport’s first season back in Triple-A in 2020.
Tyler Phares has taken over the program, which now has its eyes on a 29th straight playoff appearance.
“That’s the reason that you play. You want to see the best out there, and you want to play against the best and compare yourself,” Phares said on Monday. “Last year we never got the opportunity to go to the Triple-A playoffs and see where we stood when it came to the big dogs in Triple-A. So, it’ll be nice to see where we stand this year.”
Despite the coaching and personnel changes, not much else will be different for Bridgeport. It’s another year of the single wing, with a multitude of weapons surrounding senior quarterback, Cam Cole.
“We’ve got every bit of six or seven kids. Landyn Reppert is stepping up there, Charlie Brazier, again, Aiden Paulsen at wing, Trent Haines can step in. Ryan Hall can step in,” Phares said. “There’s a lot of kids that are fighting for time back there.”
“JD Love and J.T. Muller, they weren’t the fastest guys, but they would stick it up there, and get you four or five yards every play. This year we have a speed package, we have a fat package is what we call it, which is for our big guys with Landyn Reppert at tailback. So we’re going to be a lot more dangerous this year in the open field and I’m really excited about it,” added Cole.
“That helps, especially with the secondary. Faking them out, we can get better blocks, and then we can run the ball further. You know, that’s just how you win,” said senior lineman, Tate Jordan.
The offensive and defensive lines may be where you see the most changes for the Indians. All-state lineman, Devin Hill graduated, and Wyatt Minor has transferred to Robert C. Byrd. The expectation never changes for Bridgeport — be stout and sound up front.
“We’re a little bit smaller, but Bridgeport’s historically been smaller than other teams. We still hit hard, we hit low, we hit fast. And we take advantage of everything we have. We play the cards that we’re given the best we can,” Jordan said.
The Indians have won at least 85 percent of their games in each season since 2013.
Bridgeport’s schedule this year features four games against 2020 playoff teams, but the season starts on the road at Buckhannon-Upshur on Friday.