Bulldogs Reload, Ready for 6A
GREENWOOD, Ark. — Every year, football coaches around the country say the off-season gets shorter and shorter.
For the Greenwood Bulldogs, there’s a solid reason: It is.
For two straight years, the Bulldogs have had the shortest off-season possible. Of course, that means they were playing for—and winning—the state championship the previous season both times.
“That usually means that you play a long time,” said Greenwood head coach Rick Jones of the seemingly short off-season. “That’s the good thing about the off-season being short.”
Jones and company are back-to-back 5A state champions, but it’s guaranteed the streak stops there. This season marks the first for the Bulldogs in 6A, as part of the 7A/6A-Central.
“I’ve told our guys that we’ve been coaching as hard as we can for the last eight years,” Jones said. “If there was another gear we could kick in to, we would have already done it, trust me.”
That attitude permeates the team, and the motto for Greenwood this year is “Do what we do, only do it better.”
“Every week’s going to be a challenge,” said senior wide receiver/defensive back Drew Morgan. “We’re just going to do what we do, except this time we’re going to do it better, because we’re going up to 6A, obviously.”
There are still some questions for this team, however, mainly at quarterback. At the start of August camp, a starter has yet to be named.
“I think it’s down to two guys,” Jones said. “I think Jabe Burgess and Houston Kennedy. One’s a senior (Kennedy), one’s a junior (Burgess). They each have different skill sets. It’s really interesting, and it’s going to be a battle.”
Whoever wins the quarterback job, moving up in classification is not new to the Greenwood program. In 2005, the Bulldogs won the 4A state title, and in 2005, they won the 5A title with current Razorback Tyler Wilson under center.
“We can do it again,” said senior left tackle Tyler Thompson. “It was the same coaching staff coming in here and leading us into the championship. I think we can do it again.”
Greenwood opens the season Aug. 31 on the road against Sallisaw.