BALLINGER — The Ballinger Bearcats were “All In” last season after finishing 7-4 overall and falling in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
But, 2019 is a new year and the Bearcats are ushering in a new mentality to pair with its heightened goals. This year, head coach Chuck Lipsey says it’s time to “Rise Up.”
“Last year we wanted to be ‘All In’ and I thought we were all in, kind of like Clemson, they’re all in every year and that’s what I told the kids,” Lipsey said. “We’re gonna be all in all the time so we’ll add to it. I thought we’ve had two progressive years. This is the third year we’re here. It’s time to ‘Rise Up’ and excel at the end.”
Ballinger is now back to work with two-a-days, hoping to improve on last year’s finish. The Bearcats are returning 16 starters in 2019, which marks the second most in District 4-3A.
“Oh, it’s definitely an advantage,” Lipsey said. “It doesn’t mean anything in the long run though, you know? We’re gonna have to play every Friday night to get to where we want to be, but it definitely gives us an advantage.”
One of those starters is senior quarterback Edgar Nunez. Although Dave Campbell’s Texas Football picked him as the district’s preseason offensive MVP, the multi-tool athlete isn’t buying into the noise.
Instead, Nunez is rallying the troops with hopes of rising up and topping Cisco and the rest of the district when all said and done.
“I don’t really look into that,” Nunez said. “I just want to play the best I can and the best for my team to help us succeed. I’d rather just stay focused on what I need to do for my team instead of trying to overthink.”
Nunez isn’t the only Bearcat silencing the outside noise and predictions. Ballinger as a team is working to put on the blinders and earmuffs with hopes of topping last season’s performance; and it all starts with ‘Rising Up’.
“We have to rise up against adversity,” senior wide receiver Joemarcus Mireles said. “What happened last year, what people say about us, what they expect from us… We have to tune it all out and just be ourselves and make sure we rise up to our max potential, our max potential as a team, as a whole.”
Ballinger opens its season on Aug. 30 at home against Brady at Bearcat Stadium.