Pike County opens AHSAA playoffs at high-ranked Trinity

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

A few years ago, whenever the Pike County Bulldogs stepped on the field they were more often than not the best team. However, every now and then, the Bulldogs would face a team with more talent.

But regardless of who Pike County played, they always believed they were the better team. They carried a certain confidence, known in the Alabama high school football world as “Dawg Swag.”

The Bulldogs travel to Trinity in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs Friday night, and while Pike County will go in as the underdog, their confidence is high.

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While head coach Fred Holland didn’t saw the Dawg Swag is back, he feels his team is much more confident now, than it was at the beginning of the season.

“You have to have a lot of confidence to play this game,” Holland said. “This group has won some games, and came together as a family. With the wins, the confidence comes. It has helped us this year, and will definitely help us in the playoffs. Those kids believe they are going to win every time they step out there.”

Trinity went 8-2 in the regular season. The Wildcats book ended the season with losses, while reeling off eight consecutive wins in the middle. Trinity fell to Central-Clay County 16-14 in the season opener, and lost to Montgomery Academy 20-10 in week 10.

The Wildcats are one of the most successful teams in the history of Alabama high school football, having had winning seasons in 38 of their 41 years as a program.

Holland has nothing but respect for the high-powered Wildcats.

“They are a great football team,” Holland said. “They are lead by Randy Ragsdale, who is a great coach and has been there for so many years. He really understands the game, and we have to our part in getting prepared to try to stop what they want to do.”

Holland said the Wildcats like to try to get to the edge, and take advantage of aggressive defenses.

“They throw a lot of screens, and want to take advantage of your aggressiveness,” Holland said. “They, like most of the teams we have seen, like to run the ball as well. They don’t throw a lot at you, but they are very skilled at what they do. They are very disciplined, have extremely smart players and very well coached. They are just all in all a very sound football team.”

Pike County’s 2013 playoff trip is the Bulldogs first trip to the postseason since 2010.

“It has been a while since we were in,” head coach Fred Holland said. “The kids are excited. The town folk are excited. We have had some success this year, but we are confident the best is still in front of us.”

The Bulldogs and Wildcats will meet for the first time ever Friday night at Boykin Field in Montgomery. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.