By Doug Gorman
Dutchtown football coach Jason Galt doesn't throw the word playoffs around too often, but this could be the breakthrough year for the Bulldogs.
In their first five years of operation, the Bulldogs have only posted an 11-39 record.
But now, as the school heads into year six of its football experience, and the third under Galt, things could be moving in the right direction.
A year ago, Galt's club went 5-5, losing all of its games by a combined 20 points.
Now, the buzz phrase around the Bulldogs football camp is finish what you started.
Galt and his players know playing three quarters of football is not good enough to win when you call Region 4-AAAA home.
"We started off really fast in every game last year, but our downfall was not finishing teams off," Galt said. "So this year, our focus is playing four quarters of football."
It starts with depth on both side of the ball
With seven players back on each side of the line of scrimmage, this is the most depth ever at Dutchtown.
Defensive ends Demitri Curry and Kelvin Tanner, defensive end Scott Christensen, defensive back Tony Cochran, linebacker Denario Barvber quarterback Trey Nelson, tight end Brandon Abernathy, offensive line Kyle Wyrick and tight end Ryan Carson are each listed as college prospects, adding plenty of excitment to the team's upcoming season.
According to Galt, the team has re-dedicated itself in the weight room and came back bigger and stronger.
Add in punter and kicker Ryan Kay, who is only a junior to the mix, and you have solid special teams.
"He is definitely a game changer," Galt said. "Last year he was the co-MVP of the football team and that doesn't happen very often to a sophomore or a kicker."
Dutchtown plays its first two games against non-region opponents when it opens at home against Northgate on Aug. 28 before hitting the road for a game at Lee County.
The Bulldogs then open Region 4-AAAA play against rival Stockbridge on the road on Sept. 11.
A year ago, North Clayton, Griffin, Jonesboro and Mt. Zion made the playoffs out of Region 4-AAAA. This year, the Bulldogs want to join the playoff party.
"A year ago, I wasn't really sure how strong our region was going to be, but it turned out to be really good once our teams got to the playoffs. It's going to be strong again this year."