The team that started the coaching career for Ron Price is now this week’s opponent, as New Albany will host Cleveland on Friday.
Working with the Wildcats while a student at Delta State, Price had the chance to be apart of the north half runner up team his first year, an experienced he enjoyed.
“I volunteered, coaching the wide receivers, and we played Corinth for north half that year, so that was a lot of fun for me to be apart of coaching for the first time and to be able to play my rival from high school for north half,” he said. “Corinth beat us that night, but that was a fun year. I was put to work right away and treated me just like any of the other coaches.”
This year’s Wildcats are currently 2-3, falling in games to the top 2A and 3A schools in West Bolivar and Cleveland East Side. Price said this will be the most physical team to this point for the Bulldogs.
“Offensively, their running back, Eddie McCandry carried the ball last week 45 times and attempted six passes,” Price said. “Just about every play, he touched the ball, and they line up in a power set with eight men on the line of scrimmage and line him up at quarterback. They just get what they can with him, and he’s a handful.”
“Defensively, I think they’ll be the most athletic team we’ve played so far this year. They have a lot of very good looking skill athletes, and they’ve got a new coach, and they’re buying into his system. They’re playing with a lot of emotion, fast and they’re being very physical, so it will be a challenge for us.”
Once again going back to the beginning with the offense, the ‘Dawgs’ will show multiple formations, hoping to find success.
“Last week we felt like we could control the line of scrimmage, which is why we lined up in the ‘I,’” Price said. “I felt like we moved the ball well, but when you start possessions on the one yard line, we would get a couple of first downs then stall out, so this week I told our offensive coaches, let’s go back like it’s week one and review all of our plays and make sure our kids know what they’re doing.”
“We’re going to try to run our offense this week and show different formations and find something we’re successful with and maybe find a mismatch with Cleveland that will help us put some points on the board.”
This is the final game before the Bulldogs enter division play, and could be the most challenging, which will help when New Albany opens Region 2-4A at Senatobia next week.
“We hope after Friday we’re 5-1 going into division play with a lot of momentum,” Price said. “We’re going to start seeing of new teams our kids are not as familiar with, beginning with Senatobia. Those first three games will set the tone and maybe settle the playoff picture some. We’re going to take them one game at a time like all of the others, put all of our attention on Senatobia on Monday, and if we can go there next week and be 1-0 in division play, we’ll keep taking them one at a time after that.”
“That new division has no easy teams, so starting next Friday, the playoff picture will start taking shape. We just hope that we’re in the playoffs and we’re a factor and all of the hard work the kids have put in for us will pay off.”
Friday’s game is set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.