Countdown to Kickoff: Bowling Green Purples

Previewing upcoming football season for the Bowling Green Purples
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:00 AM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - The Bowling Green Purples want to return to championship glory.

After falling on the road to South Warren in last season’s district title game, Mark Spader wants to lead his Purples to their second state title in the last three seasons.

So that’s worth asking how you focus week-to-week with a championship goal.

“The roots of that question go back 38 years when Dan Haley was the head coach. We focus on ourselves during the week,” Spader said sternly.

A good chunk of Spader’s starters played on that 2020 state championship team including tackle Austin Anderson. The Liberty commit has been expected to anchor the offensive line and he accepts that challenge.

“I know what it takes with that experience to do that. Practicing makes perfect,” Anderson said.

All other linemen for the Purples return from last season. They’ve been sharpening iron strong enough that even Coach Spader thinks they could be kryptonite for opponents.

“Right now I consider that to be the strongest point on our team,” Spader said.

One of the biggest tasks will be protecting sophomore quarterback Deuce Bailey who’s looking to build off of his eight varsity starts in 2021.

“He’s settled in during our scrimmages. When he lets the game come to him, he looks good,” Spader said.

Defensively, there are some questions surrounding the losses of big-name seniors from last season, including defensive lineman Jeremiah Lightfoot and Amario Wilson along with then-senior captain Davis Moran.

Thankfully for the Purples, they bring back strong-armed defensive backs with championship experiences like Augustin Nyembo and Bert Kibawa. Another key cog at linebacker will be Davis Fant, who doesn’t consider filling the holes “a tall task.”

“We need to look back at where the seniors last year were and what they did for us. And we have to put pressure on juniors and seniors to step up,” Fant said.

But regardless of how all else goes, Anderson said the team is confident but humble.

“We know what we have to go through to win a state title.”

Here’s a look at the Purples’ schedule:

August 20 vs North Hardin (Rafferty’s Bowl)

August 26 vs McCracken County

September 2 vs Pleasure Ridge Park

September 9 at Hopkinsville

September 23 at Father Ryan (Nashville TN)

September 30 vs South Warren

October 14 vs Greenwood

October 21 at Christian County

October 28 at St. Xavier

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