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Westside football 2009: changes for Farragut, Bearden
Bulldogs have only four home games next season

(Final in a two-part series)

With the transition to newly formed District 4-AAA in 2009, Brad Taylor’s Bearden Bulldogs football team finds itself with a limited home slate and and road trips against two perennial state powerhouses.

While playing only four home games in 2009, Bearden must travel to seven-time Class 4A state champ Maryville Oct. 2 then close the regular season at defending Class 3A state champion Knoxville Catholic Oct. 30.

“The good thing is, one of our four is Farragut [Oct. 9], and that’s usually like a game-and-a-half,” coach Taylor said of the Bulldogs’ archrival, easily being the school’s best revenue game with overflowing attendance. “I think we’ll be O-K as far as what we make off our gate next year.

“Sometimes you don’t always get exactly what you’d like as far as non-region games,” Taylor added. “Obviously, we’re going to be in a tough region next year.”

Bearden opens at Walker Valley Aug. 21 (Week 0), then travels to Jefferson County — the only Region 1-5A member on the 2009 BHS slate — Aug. 28.

District play starts at William Blount Sept. 4 before Bearden finally opens at home against non-region foe Rhea County Sept. 11.

“I feel good about the non-region games … it was worth it to me to go four [home games] and six,” Taylor said. “I’m happy what we’ve got as far as our non-region schedule.

“Of course, the next year we’ll be six [home]-and-four [away].”

As for the changes from region to district, and the new playoff formula, “I would still much rather have the old format,” Taylor said. “But I do think it’s going to be neat to be more local with your games and maybe, potentially, more of rivalry type setting, make more money on your gates.

“I would have liked to get Hardin Valley this year, but the schedule just didn’t work out,” Taylor added. “And I would like to have been able to maybe keep Karns — they just filled up [KHS schedule]. We talked about keeping that going, and they just felt like they had some better offers out there, I guess.

“I think Jeff County’s going to have a good football team next year. Travel’s not that bad, I don’t mind going to Jeff County. It was a good fit for us.”

The BHS skipper said he also talked to Campbell County and Sevier County among other former 1-5A opponents and other schools.

The bottom line? “I think it’s going to be exciting,” Taylor said. “We’ve got a lot of guys coming back.”

BHS Football 2009

Aug. 21 at Walker Valley

Aug. 28 at Jefferson County

Sept. 4 at William Blount •

Sept. 11 Rhea County

Sept. 18 Lenoir City•

Sept. 25 Bye

Oct. 2 at Maryville•

Oct. 9 Farragut•

Oct. 16 Heritage•

Oct. 23 at West•

Oct. 30 at Knox Catholic•

Bold – home games

• - denotes District 4-AAA games


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