It's that time of the year again. The green grass and the warm air become bombarded by the sounds of whistles, foot steps, and big hits. In Doddridge County, the sights and sounds indicate a fresh start and a new beginning.
"It's finally here," Bulldogs senior wideout Daniel Plaugher said. "Everybody is pumped up and ready to go. Now everybody is looking forward to the first day of contact. So we're ready to go."
"There's a lot of excitement today," senior lineman Clayton Yeager said. "We're pretty happy. It's getting a little hot but we're going to fight through it; we're working."
The Bulldogs are dealing with quite a bit of change this season. First it was the departure of star running back Corey Aichele due to graduation, then long-time head coach Dan McConnell stepped down, paving the way for new head coach Bobby Burnside. Coach Burnside said he's only looking for one thing out of his players.
"Number one we want effort," Doddridge County head coach Bobby Burnside said. "While we're here we want to give everything we have. We want to have a good work habit and a good attitude."
"He's been excellent so far," Plaugher said. "We're going to have a big year. He's thrown in new drills. We're weight lifting. He's getting us running. So we're going to be in shape. We're going to be strong, we're going to be fast and we're going to have the football techniques to go with it. We're going to be tough."
Last season Doddridge County sprinted out of the gates, but soon realized the high school football season is a marathon. The Bulldogs went 3-7. So you can probably already guess what Coach Burnside is working on here in August.
"But one thing we want to be strong in is the second half," Burnside said. "We've already talked about the fourth quarter. We want the fourth quarter to be our quarter and a lot of that is mental."
In order to win that fourth quarter, this Doddridge County team knows the one thing that's needed.
"Teamwork," Plaugher simply said. "If we work together as a team then there's not anybody who can compete with us."