By Will Johnson
CROCKETT – After deep playoff runs in 2105 and 2016, the Crockett Bulldogs fell on hard times in 2017 and missed the playoffs with a record of 2-8.
With 17 letterman – including eight returning starters on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball – the Bulldogs are looking to put last year out of their minds and make a return trip to the postseason in 2018.
The Bulldogs will employ a spread offense and use a 4-3 or 4-2 base defense depending on the opponent, AD/Head Coach Jimmy Thompson explained.
“I think we’re pretty athletic and the attitude on the team is pretty good. We don’t have the numbers we would like to have but the ones we do have are quality kids,” the coach said when asked about the team’s strengths.
On the flip side of that, Thompson said the Bulldogs need to improve on both their blocking and tackling “… but I feel they will.”
Crockett will be in District 11-3A DI along with: the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans; the Diboll Lumberjacks; the Elkhart Elks; the Franklin Lions; the Westwood Panthers; and the Trinity Tigers.
Players to watch include: AJ Owens; Joseph Porter; Allen Horace; Dae’Javeon Bibbs; Malik Johnson and Jordan Bedford.
“We have a lot of kids that have the potential to be game-changers on any given night,” Thompson said.
As far as the key to the Bulldogs’ success, the coach said the team needed to stay relatively healthy.
“Our first line kids are really good players. We’re playing teams that will suit out 35 to 40 players while we’re suiting out 25 to 30. That is a huge key for us. I think another key will be how well Jordan (Bedford) does at quarterback,” Thompson said.
The players surrounding Bedford will also have to step-up to take some of the pressure off the QB position, he said.
“If we do that,” Thompson said, “We have a chance for a lot of success. There’s not a faster running back in the state than Joseph Porter. There’s not going to be a better target than Allen Horace and there’s probably not a better playmaker than AJ. He’s made ‘em for years.”
Thompson said another key to success was “… how good we are, defensively. We think we’re going to be pretty good. We’ve got guys who can run and guys who can cover well. We just have to find out if they can tackle.”
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].