SPIRO (KFSM)-The 2013 season looked promising for Spiro as they were riding an eight game winning streak into the final week of the regular season.
That's where it took a turn for the worse. The Bulldogs dropped the contest to Checotah, losing the district title in the process. Spiro was then bounced from the first round of the playoffs the following week.
Moving past that bitter disappointment and replacing key starters is the first step this preseason.
"We’ve got a lot of holes to fill," senior lineman Blake Purdue said. "We’ve got offensive line holes to fill. We’ve got linebackers. We’ve got some corners. We’ve got some receivers we lost. The main deal is you just have to step up and play. Got to have younger kids come up and play for us."
Veteran coach Chris Bunch is no stranger to high expectations and that's exactly what his team has this fall but he knows there are holes to plug first.
"We’ve got three offensive lineman we’ve got to replace and two skill positions at wide receiver," Bunch said. "If we can get those guys replaced, and we’ve got a whole bunch young kids out this year. That’s going to be the key. They have to learn a lot early but hopefully they can step in and fill those guys’ positions."
One position battle that Bulldogs' fans don't have to worry about is quarterback. Senior McKinley Whitfield returns and looks to highlight a high powered attack once again but he knows the pressure he's up against.
"I feel like I’ve got a bunch of weight on my shoulders this year honestly," Whitfield said. "We’ve got a young team and lost a lot of receivers, lost a lot of lineman. A lot of weight on my shoulders."
"McKinley has done a super job for us," Bunch said. "Hopefully with his leadership and his athletic ability, he’ll be a key for us this year."