Bulldogs getting some rest

Published 3:00 am Friday, September 19, 2014

By Devin Smith

After a disappointing 26-0 loss to Dale County last week, the Pike County Bulldogs have been able to take advantage of a rare week off, giving coach Fred Holland time to rest and look more inward than ahead.

“The time off gives us a chance to heal some guys that have been injured, and we get to work a little bit more on Pike County,” Holland said.

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The Bulldogs, now ranked tenth in the Class 3A Region 2 standings after falling five spots, haven’t let the loss to the No. 2-ranked Warriors affect them.

“I think they feel pretty good,” Holland said. “Right now we’re working on some things we need to do to be a good football team. They accept the challenge, and we’re working very hard at that.”

Despite the open week, Holland said activities are business as usual.

“It’s still the same,” Holland said. “We prepare and work the same way.”

One of the keys to maintaining a positive attitude has been the leadership of the Pike County locker room, among them senior Stevie Smiley.

“He’s one of our seniors and I think he provides some leadership for some of the things that we need as a team,” Holland said.

Listed at 6’4” and 215 pounds, Smiley has already has body of a Division I athlete who makes plays on both sides of the ball, and according to Holland the two-way athlete also has the work ethic to match.

“I think he’s more valuable on offense,” Holland said. “(It’s because of) his size and determination, just how he works and doing the things that we need him to do.”

Smiley, like so many before him, is another product of the consistently successful football culture at Pike County, and Holland has been able to coach him for several years.

“He had some maturity problems early, but I think he has matured quite a bit since then,” Holland said. “I think he has continued to progress in that aspect, and we’re quite pleased with him right now.”

The next challenge for the Bulldogs will be the Luverne Tigers (1-3 going into Friday) on Sept. 26.