OLM Bobcats feel they are on the right track

Wed, 08/29/2007 - 8:31am
By: Michael Boylan

OLM football scramble

The Our Lady of Mercy Bobcats have not had a winning season in their school history and many of their victories have been of the “moral” kind.

That will change.


The team is entering its second season under the reign of head coach Bryan Pinabell, and Pinabell is starting to see signs of the changing fortunes for his team. For example, the number of kids coming out for football is better, so much so that the school will field its first JV team this year. Pinabell is also seeing a better overall work ethic, with players hitting the weight rooms throughout the year and working harder in general.

It may not translate on the scoreboard, but the Bobcats are becoming a different team.

That isn’t to say there aren’t some familiar faces on the roster that will build on their experience and continue to develop their talent.

Junior William Pearl is once again the team’s quarterback, and he will be flanked by junior tailback Jarrell Bankhead. Bankhead rushed for 380 yards and three touchdowns last year. Pinabell is hoping that he will also be used as an additional receiver this year, meaning he could see the ball in his hands a lot more.

Pearl amassed over 1,000 yards of offense and scored seven touchdowns last year. He will be focusing on minimizing the turnovers as he tries to lead the team to victory. Joining Pearl and Bankhead on offense are senior receivers Dominique McDermott, Nathan Pendergrass and David Conley. Freshman Joseph Gagliano will be the team’s starting fullback and sophmore Matthew Maker will be the tight end.

The starting offensive line features senior Patrick Silloway at right tackle, senior Will Simmons at center, junior Thomas Kearns at left tackle and sophomores Daniel Wesley and Daniel Alexis at left and right guard, respectively.
The team runs a multiple pro I offense and is starting to see some talent and athleticism that should challenge their opponents.

The starting defensive line features Alexis and Wesley at defensive end, Silloway at defensive tackle and sophomore Byron Williams at nose tackle. The lineacking corps features Bankhead, Simmons and Maker, while the secondary will feature McDermott at strong safety, junior David Goemare at free safety, Conley at left cornerback and sophomore Christian Willis. The Bobcats run a multiple 4-3 defense and they aren’t afraid to hit and get hit.

Mercy’s region schedule is tough and starting with the Creekview Grizzlies makes things even tougher. The Grizzlies are a fairly new program but they return a ton of starters and are looking to improve on last year’s 7-3 record. Pinabell is hoping to schedule a more competive game for his fledgling program next year, but he also knows that games like this can help a program’s confidence if they can do well.

Region-wise, Mercy has to face perennial powerhouses like Landmark Christian and Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy and there are also a lot of teams, like Mercy, who are on the rise. This makes the schedule very competitive, but fun to follow.

Pinabell has his team, the boosters and the student body fired up for the season and future.

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