Experience is crucial for athletes. It’s what separates a young team and a team that is primed for a playoff run.
Take the Montgomery Bears as an example.
After beating Fulshear, Montgomery (5-0) now has its eyes on the top spot in District 10-5A Division II.
Coach John Bolfing’s squad returns eight starters and 28 lettermen coming off an 8-4 2020 season. One of those starters is quarterback Brock Bolfing, the head coach’s son.
“It’s great; he’s my third son to play for the Montgomery Bears,” Bolfing said. “It’s very special going into work with him every day, it’s not something that every father can do. I am very blessed to be able to do that.”
And not only is it a special moment between father and son, but Brock Bolfing has been able to produce for the Bears. Through five games, he sports a 68.8 percent passing percentage while throwing for 903 yards and 10 touchdowns. But a strong offensive line and another four-year starter, enables him to be successful. Running back Jalen Washington is the one that compliments Bolfing. Through this season he’s ran for 781 yards and nine touchdowns. This star duo unlocks a whole new component for Montgomery and allows them to be lethal through the air or on the ground.
“I feel like we are very balanced,” John Bolfing said. “We’re not going to make a definite plan to throw the ball or run the ball exclusively. One week we may throw the ball 30 times and the next week we may throw it 10 times. We’re going to do whatever we can to move the football, score points, and then win games.”
Montgomery has been in some close games this year. Recently it was a 52-32 win over Fulshear, as it was only an eight-point ball game until a commanding 21-point third quarter by the Bears. But their closest game was against Beaumont United. The Bears were able to silence a United squad led by DCTF three-star and Duke commit Chandler Rivers. Their defensive performances have been led by their defensive four-year starter, linebacker Leslie Williams. Williams leads the team with 83 tackles, 39 of them being solo, and five quarterback hurries. Another linebacker who plays a big part is Zach Cooper, he comes in second on the team in tackles with 36 along with a sack.
“I feel like we play really well defensively,” he said. “Williams is a four-year starter and he does a great job leading the defense. To have him back there is huge for us. Another guy on our defense who does a lot of work is Zach Cooper. He is just relentless, full of energy, and very smart. Having those guys lead the way on defense is huge for us. We’ve been very consistent.”
When Bolfing sends his team out onto the field, he sees a calmness and confidence from his four-year starters.
“They have all worked hard, and know our system very well,” he said. “On the field, they are very relaxed and know what we are doing. They know how to prepare for a game. There is no substitute for experience, and they have a ton of it. It really makes a big difference.”
For Bolfing, he makes sure to preach two things to his athletes every day: attitude and effort. He wants his kids to come in with a great attitude and that they are going to put forward a great effort. Because for him, “Those are the two things that a kid can control.” He believes that if players can achieve those two things, then success is in their future.
“That’s what are the core values we have for our kids,” he said. “We build upon that. We must do that and must work hard. Our kids may not go Division I, but we have good players who are hard-nosed and have a great work ethic.”
The Montgomery Bears face a tough district. They will face off against teams that have very positive records. But if the Bears want to continue their undefeated run and win the district, they must continue to trust their veteran leadership.
“I’m super proud of the kids that we have in our program,” he said. “They are the definition of student-athletes. They are good students and good people. They show up every day and work hard.”
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