Coach: Matt Plunkett
Record at Cullman: 0-0 (1st year)
2017 Record: 7-4 (4-2 in 6A, R 7)
2018: Cullman is in 6A, R 7 with Decatur, Columbia, Athens, Hartselle, Muscle Shoals.
Key returning personnel: RB Ezra Burks, RB Jayden Sullins, WR Peyton Culvard, C Carter Borden, G Jordan Ray, DB Seth Gable.
2018 schedule: Aug. 23 - Jasper, Aug. 31 - Mortimer Jordan, Sept. 7 - @ Decatur, Sept. 14 - Columbia, Sept. 21 - @ Albertville, Sept. 28 - @ Hueytown, Oct. 5 - Athens, Oct. 12 - Muscle Shoals, Oct. 19 - @ Hartselle, Oct. 26 - @ Fort Payne.
Outlook: Cullman has a new leader on the sidelines that has established good credibility in 5 seasons coaching at Gardendale High School.
The Bearcats have experience in the running game, the line of scrimmage heading into Plunkett's first season.
Cullman will be young at quarterback, bringing in new receivers. The Bearcats do present good personnel at linebacker and in the secondary.
Having a chance to bring in his system during the spring is a benefit as the fall season is upon us.
Resuming the rivalry with Jasper (formerly Walker) will give the Bearcats an indicator with the game to be intense on opening night.
Back in a region with Decatur, Athens, Hartselle and Muscle Shoals, Cullman knows each game will be a challenge from the kickoff until the final play.
Non region foes like Albertville and Fort Payne, who were regional teams the last two years, is good in continuing on the Cullman schedule. Mortimer Jordan and Hueytown will be challenging schools that represent Jefferson County.
The Bearcats will play 10 consecutive weeks with the finale on the last Friday in October at Fort Payne. But Plunkett and the Bearcats hope the season is not done at that time.
Cullman's regional opener in Decatur will be full of energy as the Red Raiders will tangle with the 'Cats on a new artificial surface at legenday Ogle Stadium.
Trying to defeat Hartselle for the first time since 2013 is huge for Cullman. The 'Cats lost a close one to the Tigers in 2017, on a 99-yard kickoff return in the final moments.
With young players in certain positions, Plunkett is hoping for a good start as Cullman plays at Oliver Woodard Stadium three of the first four weeks. That will allow the team to develop a flow, with the final weeks of September being non-regional road games at Albertville and Hueytown.
Cullman conducted a controlled scrimmage Friday evening at Woodard Stadium as they continue to move forward toward opening night.
Sportspage photos by Johnny Thornton