Solid spring propels Bulldogs into offseason workouts
Published 9:46 am Monday, May 15, 2023
After wrapping up spring football with a win over 6A’s Sidney-Lanier last week, Pike County Football Coach Mark Hurt is excited with the direction of his program.
The Bulldogs got down by two touchdowns in the first quarter of the game against Sidney-Lanier only to come storming back to earn the win.
“I would like for us to start better but I do understand we’re still young in a lot of areas and we kind of had to settle in and let the butterflies settle, so we could start playing,” Hurt said. “Other than that, I felt like we did what we needed to. We got behind in the first (quarter) and came back and scored and took the lead in the second. So, I feel personally there were a lot of good things that happened but also a lot of things to work on.”
The Bulldogs will have a lot of production to replace from last year’s team with the graduation of athlete Ian Foster and offensive/defensive lineman Keith Williams. Both Nemo Williams and Braylin Foster stepped up to make a number of big plays in the spring game, however.
“Those are great athletes and they’re expected to make big plays for us,” Hurt said. “It’s hard to replace Ian Foster and Keith Williams because they’re productive in all areas. I think we have enough players to make plays in a lot of different areas, though.
“We’ll have some kids step up and maybe surprise themselves, too. They’re still maturing and a lot more kids are starting to develop for us. If we spread the ball around and get the ball to the right people, we’ll do well.”
While some might view spring football games as nothing more than a scrimmage that means little, the Bulldogs certainly don’t view it that way.
“It might be that for everyone else but to us, it’s about competing,” Hurt emphasized. “I thought it was very big for us to come back the way we did. We got behind 13 points and were still able to come back and take the lead. It’s big for us and it’s big for the program.
“Given the fact that we have both veterans and young guys on this team, it helps us to understand that we have the ability that if we get down we won’t quit. We’ll keep chipping away until we get back into it.”
Hurt said that the spring has been about developing more depth across the team.
“Overall, I feel good about the spring,” he said. “I feel like we got a lot of reps and my takeaway is that we’re building depth and that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to see some players in different areas and I’m very pleased with the way they handled that.”
Going into summer workouts, the Bulldogs will look to continue making sure everyone understands their role in the team’s offense and defense.
“We have to get ready for the summer and work on finalizing a lot of things, like exactly what we’re doing,” said Hurt. “We know our system better now but we still have a lot of learning to do and understanding the offense and defensive systems, especially in things like what to do in game situations. All the little things like getting out of bounds late to get points. Those little things are what win games, win big games for you.”