Booneville winning a home game is hardly breaking news, but Friday’s win over Greenland marked the 250th for the program inside the home that Gene Bradley built.
Bradley is sometimes the forgotten man around the campus where buildings, streets and so forth are named for coaches and other key figures within the program.
“When he came here Booneville was down,” said Jim West. “He turned it around and built something that has lasted to this day.”
West was a sophomore when Bradley took over the program that had won two and four games in the two previous seasons. West was a senior when Bradley and the Bearcats opened Bearcat Stadium with a 27-0 win over Charleston.
Gerald Fuller scored the first touchdown in Bearcat Stadium that night with John Harris adding the first extra point.
Ted Short recorded the first interception return for a touchdown and Buddy Goodwin accounted for the first fumble return for a touchdown that night as well.
Big crowds at Bearcat Stadium have been the norm at Bearcat Stadium since that night as the estimated attendance was 2,000.
“He turned us into something that has lasted until now,” West adds. “Everybody who has come along since then has benefited from Coach Bradley. Some credit needs to be given to the man.”
“Booneville has always had good teams, won conference championships but at that time, Bradley instilled a ‘playing Bearcat football’ mindset that hasn’t gone away,” said West. “We’ve been consistent ever since.”
Especially at home.
Since Sept. 6, 1968, there have been 60 different opponents roam the visiting sidelines, only to board the bus after a defeat, with Greenland now being one of 33 schools to have lost in Bearcat Stadium more than once.
The list of opponents to have lost in Booneville includes the likes of Van Buren, Pulaski (Joe T.) Robinson, Junction City, Prescott, Rivercrest, Warren, Star City, Nashville, Morrilton, Newport, Barton, Pulaski Oak Grove, and Shiloh Christian.
The record to date is 250-59-1, a winning percentage of .805. In the regular season alone it is 208-47-1 (.814) with a playoff mark of 42-12 (.778).
Most often the victim at Bearcat Stadium has been Waldron, who has lost 23 times here.
Eight other schools have double digit losses including Clarksville with 21, Mansfield with 17, Ozark with 16, Paris with 16, Subiaco with 14, Mena with 14, Charleston with 14, and Dardanelle with 10.
Rounding out the top 10 is Greenwood with nine losses here.