For the first time since 1984 the Bullock County Hornets finish the football season with more wins than losses.
This year’s team won six regular season games for the first time since 1972 when the Hornet were 9-1 missing the playoffs due to a loss to 1A Saint Jude.
The Alabama High School Association started in 1966 and in 1967 all schools were allowed to compete in the state playoffs. Bullock County is the only team in the State of Alabama that was an original member of the AHSAA that had not made the playoffs.
Josh Bean from AL.com said he had a coaching friend who told him Bear Bryant couldn’t go into Bullock County and get them in the playoffs. It took fifty-two years, but the Bullock County Hornets are in the Super 7 state playoffs.
When asked what has contributed to the turnaround Coach Spears says there are several factors, “The biggest factor is the heart, perseverance, work ethic and character of the players and assistant coaches.
Other factors include the vision of the community to start a youth league and a middle school program a few years ago. When the new gym was built it included a top notch weight room and the program is now 3A instead of 5A or 4A like we were years ago. These are some of the reasons we have had success this season. “
The Hornets have four losses this season. The teams that defeated the Hornets have a combined record of 34-6 with Pike Road finishing a perfect 10-0, St. James and Reeltown both finished 9-1. In his two seasons at Bullock County Coach Spears has won more region games than any coach in school history; however Gordo is the best team the Hornets have ever played.
Gordo is ranked 23rd in the state out of 424 teams and is the highest ranked 3A school in the state. They have a dynamic quarterback and great tradition. Although the Hornets are playing a tough opponent this has not damped the excitement of Hornet Nation. The expected temperature is thirty-five degrees, yet several from the community are expected to make the hundred and fifty-mile drive to Gordo, Alabama.
Whatever happens Friday night will not ruin this incredible season. Relatively speaking this is the best football season in school history.
Coach Spears didn’t want to comment on where this team ranks compared to other teams, “Our season is not over. Our goal is to prepare, compete and win every game we play. Bullock County was going to make the playoffs one day anyway; I just happen to be here when it happened. Right place, right time. Our focus is Gordo, not history.”