Call it what you want, but the Bulldogs are motivated, using two visible items on the sideline as an incentive to work hard in practice and carry that into each game.
A block of wood and a voodoo stick are carried out to the field; symbols that have sparked the Bulldogs’ 4-0 start.
“The wood appeared in my office, but we’ve been unable to pinpoint exactly who brought that too us,” NAHS head coach Ron Price said. “ We let the two kids who worked the hardest during the week bring the wood to the field, and they really take pride in that. Our defense has accepted it as their motto right now, so they really enjoy it.”
Price also incorporated a voodoo stick that carries the mascots of each team New Albany has defeated.
“I guess it’s a ritual thing, but we have a Blue Devil and something from Ripley and Corinth and we’ll add a Bearcat,” quarterback Tyler Basil said. “This is letting everyone know that when we make it to Jackson, every team that we’ve played will be hanging on here in some form.”
“When I was at Delta State, DSU won the national championship, and they had the voodoo pole, or whatever you want to call it,” Price said. “Each week they would add the team they defeated the week before to the stick, and we think it helped guide them to the national championship.”
New Albany takes their undefeated record on the road this week, as they will face Independence, a team the Bulldogs shutout, 35-0, in 2009.
“They’re a real athletic team,” Price said. “They run a lot of screen plays, so our defense really has to be on their toes this week.”
Independence enters tonight’s contest at 2-2, having lost to Sentatobia and Southaven.
“They’re getting better every year, and I think you can tell by the film that they improve each week,” Price said. “We’re going to have to go out and play hard for four quarters.”
Hopefully for the Bulldogs, this week will bring another addition to the collection on their pole.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.