Four Bulldogs will have the opportunity to continue playing football at the next level, signing with Holmes, Northwest and Itawamba Community Colleges on Wednesday.
Devonte Bradley, Spencer Day, Austin Howard and Boston Newsome have played pivotal roles in the bulldogs’ success over the last three seasons, winning 30 games and two division championships. Head coach Ron Price spoke of the contribution from each of these players as well as the excitement of players from his program going to the next level.
“Anytime one of your guys has the opportunity to go on to the next level, it says a lot about your program, coaches and kids,” Price said. “These are four great kids that have brought a lot to this New Albany program.”
Bradley signed with Holmes Community College and said that it was the small atmosphere that drew him to the Bulldog program.
“I’m glad to have the opportunity to play college ball,” he said. “I know now I’ll have to step up my game, and it will be good for me. I’m looking forward to playing with a new team next year, and looking for a great season.”
Bradley finished with 32 tackles on defense and played a big role on the Bulldogs’ offensive line throughout the last three seasons.
Signing with Itawamba Community College, quarterback Spencer Day said it is a dream come true to play at the college level. Finishing with 1,006 passing yards and 10 touchdowns last season, Day will redshirt with the Indians next season.
“I’m really excited; this is a dream come true,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to play college football, and this is just a start.”
“ICC greeted me with open arms, and they approached me before the Louisville game. Since then, we’ve build a great relationship. I took both an unofficial and official visit over there, and both times I saw it’s a great place. I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Newsome and Howard will continue their careers together, both signing with Northwest Community College. Newsome became New Albany’s all-time leading rusher and first running back to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. His 24 touchdowns highlighted the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, which averaged 198 yards per game.
“I’m very excited to be a Ranger, and I’m glad my fellow teammate decided to come there, too,” Newsome said. “It’s always good to have a teammate go with you, and both of us together will be very motivated, and we’re going to do the best we can.”
Newsome said he immediately liked the coaching staff at Northwest and is ready to make an impact for the Rangers.
“I like how the head coach said that all but one coach has been a head coach at some level,” Newsome said. “It’s very exciting. They were real to me, and they needed someone, so they got someone.”
Listed as a defensive end and tight end last season, Howard led the Bulldogs’ receivers with 329 yards and five touchdowns. He also recorded 49 tackles and six sacks on defense.
“I feel like there’s a better chance of playing at Northwest, and it is also close to home,” he said of his decision. “I have a better chance of my parents being able to come watch me play.”
Price hopes the example set by this group will help his team in the future.
“It’s a reward to see the hard work these men have given to this program pay off, and it helps these younger kids see why they have to do everything they have to do and see where the day will come will the hard work will pay off,” he said. “I’m thankful they have New Albany attached to their name, and I know they’re going to go on and make us proud.”