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5 Things To Watch This Spring About Bay City Football

By MIKE FORMAN
May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.


BAY CITY - Dan Burk was hired as Bay City's athletic director and head football coach in January.

Burk, who replaced Robert Blackmon, is getting his first look at his players in pads as the Blackcats go through spring practice, which concludes with the Blue-Gold game on Thursday, May 24 at 6 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

Burk is hoping the Blackcats can improve on their 3-7 finish and make the playoffs for the first time since 2007.

Here are five storylines to follow for Bay City football this spring:



New Sheriff In Town

• Burk came to Bay City from East Texas Baptist University where he was the strength and conditioning coach for the last two seasons. He was also a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Arizona. Burk has extensive experience on the high school level, coaching at Caney Creek, Yoakum, The Colony, Wimberley, Navasota and Ranger. Burk will coach the defense. He has hired Dusty Ortiz from Keller as the offensive coordinator and Markeith Wesley, who played for him at Navasota, as the offensive line coach.



Starting From Scratch

• Bay City must replace most of its skill position players, including quarterback/defensive end Derek Brown, who signed with Rice. Burk said the Blackcats will continue to be multiple on offense and will run a 4-3 defense. "We've gotten out there and hit each other pretty good," he said. "It's just seeing what the kids can do. It's definitely a teaching time. There are some days we start out and it's almost like Pee Wee football and now we do some things."



Winning The Close Ones• Five of Bay City's losses last season were by six points or less. Turn those around and the Blackcats would have played in the postseason. "I believe they are buying into what we're doing," Burk said. "They're working hard and doing everything we ask. We do have a lot of work to do strength wise and we've still got to build the program numbers wise. We've kind of restructured pretty much the whole thing."



Laying Down The Law

• The players have noticed a different atmosphere at practice. "The biggest change is mostly discipline," said running back Stevie Franklin. "It's a lot more disciplined around here. Guys want to actually participate and coach Burk's brought in a lot of positive reinforcement."



Recapturing The Tradition

• Bay City has won two state championships, the most recent being the Class 4A, Division I state title in 2000. The Blackcats also went to the state final in 2001 and 2003. But they haven't won a playoff game since 2003. "They've had either parents or aunts and uncles and people like that who were part of that and they've heard that all their life and they want to bring it back," Burk said. "I think a lot of the time they don't understand what it takes. Part of that is just teaching them what it takes to get there. The main thing is the challenge of the work it takes to get there."

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