An experienced Bulldogs squad is back on the field this week, as spring practices have begun for area high schools. Returning all but four starters from last year’s team, head coach Ron Price is excited about the leadership returning for 2009.
“We have a lot of experience coming back, and it’s just our job as a coaching staff to keep tuning it up and getting it to where we want to be,” Price said. “We were very young last year, and it was tough going through the season with our youth, but that’s to our advantage now. We have most of our kids back, and they now have a lot of game experience.”
Price and his staff are working primarily on fundamentals, as well as implementing the defense and working on the running game, something that hindered the ‘Dawgs last season.
“We’re wanting to have our base defense in the next couple of days,” Price explained. “Base offense, we want to be able to run the football this year. We have our whole offensive line coming back, so we feel they’re our strength this year instead of our weakness. We’re a year older and a lot stronger, and we’re really going to lean on those guys this year.”
New Albany just completed their spring practice for the junior varsity squad, which boasts 41 players. Their two week session ended with their spring game versus Lafayette last Thursday.
“There are a lot of athletes in that group, and there are a lot of big kids,” Price said of the freshmen. “There’s a great combination of kids with their attitudes and work ethic, and we had two outstanding weeks of practice. We didn’t come out in the spring game the way we wanted to, but we were able to play a lot of kids, as well as see a lot of kids in position. We’re very pleased at what we saw Thursday night, and look forward to working with those kids over the next four years.”
Once spring practice ends, the Bulldogs will hit the weight room for the summer before fall practice begins August 4th.
“This summer in the weight room will be big for us, and we’re excited to get back into the weight room,” Price said. “We maxed out last week, so our offseason program was a big success, and our kids’ numbers have increased, so we’re excited about that.”
NAHS will practice for 15 days and end with their spring game, scheduled for May 14th.