After wrapping up a stellar regular season, the Bearden Bulldogs look forward to postseason play in the district tournament.
Bearden’s success this season has come despite having one of the youngest rosters in the district.
Being the sole senior on the team, forward Dre Dave has been pushed into the leadership role on a team comprised mostly of sophomores.
“When you’re the lone senior, you’re going to be looked to because you’re older, and he’s embraced that role and done really well,” head coach Jeremy Parrott said. “It’s not an easy task keeping up with a bunch of sophomores and a couple of juniors, but he’s done really well and I’ve been proud of him.”
Earning the No. 2 seed in the district tournament, the Bulldogs (17-8, 11-3 District 4-AAA) have a double bye and will play the winner of No. 3 seed Hardin Valley and No. 6 seed Farragut, after the Admirals beat Heritage on Tuesday night, 50-41. Bearden will play at 9 p.m. on Friday at HVA, regardless of the opponent.
The Bulldogs have already earned a spot in the region tournament, but they need a win Friday to secure home court advantage for the first round in regions.
Although he is a senior, Dave himself has only been at Bearden for two years after transferring from a school in Alaska before his junior season.
Despite that, Dave has matured quickly into his leadership role and become one of the team’s most reliable performers.
“The transition was really difficult trying to find out where I fit in in the program, but I think I settled in well and I’m doing alright now,” Dave said.
Voted as team captain along with sophomore Roman Robinson, Dave’s teammates clearly share the same sentiment as Coach Parrott in regards to Dave’s ability to lead the team.
“He’s stepped up and has never had a problem with it,” sophomore forward Kordell Kah said. “He’s been pretty much the undisputed leader of the team, so he took that role to heart.”
Added Coach Parrott: “I think you have two kinds of leaders: you have leaders that are very vocal and loud and you also have those that walk the walk before they talk it, and he’s done a little bit of both, but he’s been more of a lead by example.”
Hoping to cap off his senior season on a high note, Dave and Bearden will have the opportunity to play one of their two biggest rivals on Friday for a chance to move on to the district championship.