MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Next up on WKRG’s “33 Teams in 33 Days” spring special is the Theodore Bobcats.

WKRG sports director Simone Eli and weekend sports anchor Gerhard Mathangani provide an inside look into the Bobcats, who are looking to make another big playoff run under a new head coach.

Last year, Theodore won the region championship after going 8-0 in Class 6A, Region 1. They were the number one ranked team in the state entering the playoffs. The Bobcats beat Lanier, Hueytown and St. Paul’s before falling to the eventual state champion, Saraland, in the 6A semifinals.

Hall of Fame head coach Steve Mask takes over for Eric Collier, who left for an off-the-field role at South Alabama. Mask previously coached 10 seasons at St. Paul’s, leading the Saints to four Class 5A state titles. Mask was inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2020.

He tells WKRG he likes what he has seen from the team’s energy and excitement for spring ball.

“The tradition at Theodore speaks for itself,” said Mask. “The kids here love to play football.”

Mask mentioned how “kids are kids,” but the expectations at Theodore are just as high as everywhere else he’s been.

“I’m having the time of my life and the kids and I are getting along really good, getting to know each other, the staff,” added Mask. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation than what we’ve got right now.”

2022 Record (notable wins, losses):

  • 13-1
  • 27-26 win vs. Saraland (regular season)
  • 37-0 win vs. St. Paul’s (playoff)

Key players:

  • Cameron Rigby, QB
  • Kevin Norwood, DL
  • Cameron Pruitt, ATH

Rigby enters his senior season and is the leader on the Bobcats’ offense. He accounted for 21 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards last season. Norwood returns on the defensive side where he posted 86 tackles and five sacks last year. Pruitt, Theodore’s “do-it-all” guy, plays both ways for the Bobcats. The four-star recorded 99 tackles and 15 tackles-for-loss. He holds offers for Alabama, Auburn and several other SEC schools.

Rigby and Pruitt tell WKRG they have enjoyed the spark Mask brings to the program.

“The first thing I noticed when he came in, he brought a lot of intensity,” said Rigby. “He’s always jumping around. He’s brings a lot of energy, which brings a lot of energy to the team. You know, he’s not always screaming at us, but when he needs to, he gets on to us.”

Pruitt said “he loves Coach Mask.”

“Coach Mask is a good coach, he tells me the truth, keeps it 100 with me,” said Pruitt. “He don’t sugar coat nothing, everything is business so he keeps it straight order and takes care of us, making sure everybody is good.”

Rigby added that everyone wants the Blue Map, but they’re are trying to build a team in the spring.

Key Matchups:

  • @ Baker (non-region, playoff team) — August 25
  • vs. Spanish Fort (region) — September 22
  • @ Saraland (region) — October 27

Link to full schedule.

Who’s next:

Wednesday will feature the Gulf Shores Dolphins. Follow along WKRG’s “33 teams in 33 days” throughout the next five weeks. Each team will be featured during the 6:30 p.m. newscast on the weekdays and during the 10 p.m. newscast on the weekend.

Full “33 teams in 33 days” schedule: