Friday night the Bullock County Hornets played in their first playoff game in school history. The Hornets were the fourth seed in 3A Region 3. The fourth seed plays the first seed of 3A Region 4. This assignment placed the Hornets against the number one ranked team in the state, Gordo Greenwave.
Gordo showed why it’s the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3A on Friday night with a 36-0 victory over the Bullock County Hornets in the first round of the playoffs.
Gordo’s undefeated regular season marked its 25th straight winning season and the Greenwave proved their powerhouse status in the playoffs and dominated the Hornets, who made their first playoff appearance in program history.
It’s the third straight shutout for the Greenwave, who have outscored its last three opponents 119-0.
Although the Hornets lost all the other teams in the region won advancing to the second round and showing how tough 3A Region 3 was this season.
The first half was tough for the Hornets, but frustration boiled over in the second half. On one play in the third quarter, a Hornets defensive back was penalized for pass interference. A disgruntled assistant coach ran on the field to dispute the call, which landed him an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
On the next play, the Hornets were penalized 15 more yards on a personal foul. At one-point Bullock County received four penalties in a row. The Hornets finished the game with 19 penalties compared to Gordo’s 4.
According to the Alabama High School Association the Hornets experienced unfair officiating. This resulted in the officials’ being suspended for the remainder of the season.
When asked about the officials Bullock County Head Football Coach Willie Spears had this to say: “The AHSAA apologized for the unfair treatment and wrongful punishment we received during the game, however Gordo was a much better team. They beat us because they were better than us, not because the referees were unfair.”
Although the season didn’t end the way the Hornets had hoped there were several highlights to this historic season:
• Overcame 1-3 start and won 5 of the last six regular season games
• First WSFA player of the week in school history
• Beat rivals Booker T. Washington and Barbour County
• Won four region games, most in school history
• First six win season since 1973
• Most extra points made in a season
• Held opponents to lowest rushing total of their opponents
The future is bright for the Hornets. The middle school was one play away from winning the middle school championship for the third year in a row and our 11 and 12 year olds won the junior division championship of the River Region Football League. The varsity team started four freshmen and two sophomores this season, but will miss leading tackler Kamal Lewis, kicker Julian Vasquez and two way starters Xabien Hilton, Kamron Lewis, Jacarius Robbins and Kendeous Owens. Next season Bullock County hopes to have a junior varsity team to help inexperienced players get more playing time. The new schedule and new region assignments come out in December.
We asked coach what does he have planned now that football season is over. “The offseason duty list is longer than the in season duty list. I have to teach/facilitate classes, do inventory, send film to colleges and try to get our players in college, submit eligibility for other sports, clean and upgrade facilities, recruit hallways, formulate a plan for our feeder programs, host our football banquet, review our budget, fundraise, write thank you letters, sign up for coaching clinics, review each game from last season, make schedule for next two years and so much more.” Coach Spears responded.
Coach Spears would like to thank the Superintendent, School Board, District Office, Mr. James and Mrs. Kendrick, local churches, politicians, community leaders, businesses, alumni and fans for making this a season to remember.