Bulldogs to host Tigers in season opener
By The Waldron News
As the season opener for the Waldron Bulldogs approaches against Highway 71 rival, the Mansfield Tigers, coach Ricky May and his Bulldogs are prepared to defend as the Battle of Scott County and Highway 71champions at Bulldog Stadium on Friday, September 1.
The Bulldogs were able to break their 43-game losing streak last year by defeating the Tigers, 45-0 on the road and completed their 2016 season with a 5-5 record.
"We have been making a few adjustments after our scrimmage, but the kids have responded well," May said. "Another final preparation that we are making is practicing on the game field. This is a big deal to our players."
When asked about the strengths of this year's Bulldogs, May was quick to respond with "experience." "Experience is big for us. We have several three-year starters in key positions. Our speed has also improved for this years."
These starters include Trey Williams, quarterback/safety; Cole Huddleston, fullback/noseguard; Gerardo Lopez, left guard/defensive tackle; and Levi Franklin, running back/cornerback.
According to May, these four senior Bulldogs have become comfortable with the program as well as making additions that they were not familiar with due to lack of experience.
Williams has taken the role of leader this year shared May. "He [Williams] has made leaps and bounds during the past two seasons. He displays a positive attitude with his teammates and has an excitement for his senior year. Huddleston is the type of player that will give everything he has both on and off the field. He returns at fullback after rushing for 253 yards and two touchdowns during the 2016 season. As for Lopez, we are looking for him to bring some big things to the table. He works well with our offense. Franklin along with Levi Hayden will serve as the Bulldogs' two running backs. During the 2016 season, Franklin completed an 85-yard touchdown against the Tigers while Hayden ran for two touchdowns against Cedarville." Other key players that will be on the field this Friday will be Joel Cagle, right guard; Dillion Pickens, right tackle; Darian Phrasounonh, two-year starter returning as center; Matt Poor, offensive tackle/defensive tackle; and Logan Tull, tight end/defensive end.
"Playing with emotion is important, and we are looking to see an improvement in this area," explained May. In addition, the Bulldogs are looking to playing more consistent in every position, not blowing assignments on defense, and not turning the ball over.
“I think the biggest strength for Waldron is that they are in year three of their system under a great coach. They learned how to win last year and that should give them something they have been missing in years past,” shared head Tiger coach, Craig Bentley.
The Bulldogs will kick-off at 7 p.m.
Come out and support your 'Dogs!