Bulldogs Working Hard in Spring

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GREENWOOD, Ark. -- The Greenwood Bulldogs have ruled 5A for years, but this spring, they’re preparing to take things up a notch.

Next season, Rick Jones and company will begin play in 6A. Not that that has changed his approach at all.

“I’ve told people that we’ve coached as hard as we could already, so I haven’t been saving up for this move into 6A,” Jones said. “I think we’ve done about the best we could. As coaches, you always feel as if you could do better. I know I could do better, I know as a staff we can do better. We’re always looking for those ideas that we think can help us as a program.”

With all due respect to Coach Jones, it’s difficult to imagine a better season than last for Greenwood. The Bulldogs ran the table in 2011, ending with an emphatic victory over Batesville in the state title game.

That may have set the bar a bit high going into this spring.

“I think I probably have unrealistic expectations,” Jones said. “I expect us to sort of take up where we left off in December. We have a long way to go.”

The Bulldogs will have to replace some key pieces, including graduating seniors in quarterback Hayden Smith and running back Justin Sunde.

“We lost some good football players,” Jones said. “That’s really apparent when you come out and watch practice, but we have some good players back, and it’s slowly but surely taking shape.”