courtesy photo/ Shawana Coxcourtesy photo/ Shawana Cox

Willow Springs Bears Football Preview

Hopes are high for the boys of fall as a new face steps up to coach the Willow Springs Bears. Coach Travis Payne plans to train for success and has high expectations for his players.
''We are going to set the bar high for this season and win,'' Coach Payne said.
Coming off a dismal season of 2-8 has not diminished Willow Springs’ support for their Bears. Coach Payne, a newcomer to the area, has found a friendly place to build his team up.
“The people have been very welcoming,” he said. “When we were looking for donations for the team, many people stepped up and donated so we could have good gear.''
The Bears have a more extensive roster this year, having as many as 32 players versus the 17 players of the 2021 team.  Familiar faces return to tear up the turf, such as Gennadiy Dudko, Gavin Ferguson, Scooter Osborn, and Ryan Friga.  These players have proven themselves as formidable opponents in every aspect, from offensive plays from Gavin Ferguson and Ryan Friga to the stopping power of defensive players such as Gennadiy Dudko and Scooter Osborn.  Many of Willow’s touchdowns last season were thanks to the combination of Friga and Osborn's ball skills and speed.  And many players can attest to Dudko's effective and hard-hitting takedowns.
The Willow Springs Bears have the ability and workforce to branch out and try new strategies and plays this season, unlike the previous year's team that was so small there was little to no variation in defense and offense.
This year's team boasts the ability to have fresh and ready players able to step in when the game stretches long.  Still considered a small roster, Coach Payne is working hard to fix the issues presented by having a small team mindset by making the team play like a large team.
''We need depth, players being prepared to get in and play both sides, offense, and defense, getting more players to play both and not just one,'' he said. 
A dinner and auction to support the team will take place Saturday, Aug 13. To purchase tickets or to donate to the auction, call Misty Pitts at 417-293-4115 or Jill Henley at 417-252-7870. Tickets can be picked up at Monark Realty and Shelter Insurance.
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Howell County News

110 W. Main St.,
Willow Springs, MO 65793
417-252-2123

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