New Albany has one more test before beginning the 2012 regular season against Ripley next week.
The Bulldogs will host Kossuth on Friday in a jamboree game, hoping for a better outing than last year’s 13-6 loss on the road.
“I think we’ve been working hard in practice, and the heat has been tough, but I think we’ll be alright come Friday night,” senior Devonte Bradley said. “We just need to focus on not making a lot of mistakes, like we did against them last year.”
Along with fellow senior Brady Barnes, Bradley was a part of a defense that averaged 85 tackles a game in 2011. Barnes, the top tackler returning this season, is confident of the unit’s ability, beginning against the Aggies.
“I feel, coming into this jamboree, we’ll be fine,” Barnes said. “As long as the offense can put some points on the board, I feel confident in our defense that we’ll hold them scoreless.”
The duo are members of a talented senior class that includes quarterback Spencer Day and running back Boston Newsome. With the group returning this season, they are hoping for another exciting year.
“We have several seniors coming back on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball,” Barnes said.
“Our schedule is the same as last year, so we know what everyone does. I think as long as we have the people in the stands, we’ll be able to keep them happy and keep doing what we’ve been doing.”
Added Bradley, “This year will be pretty good, so long as we do what we need to. This team has the ability to go to state. We just need to stay focused and do our job.”
The jamboree game against Kossuth is set for a 7 p.m. start on Friday at Kitchens’ Field. The first two regular season games, versus Ripley next Friday and Itawamba on Aug. 24, will also be at home, beginning at 7:30 p.m.