By Brian Paglia
Dutchtown went through the usual growing pains young schools encounter when the Hampton school opened in 2004.
Longtime Stockbridge coach Mike Creasman (1989-97) got the Bulldogs program started. In his three seasons at the helm, Dutchtown went 4-26 and 0-11 against Henry County teams.
That changed once Jason Galt arrived in 2007. The Bulldogs went just 2-8 in his first season, but his first game was a 41-36 victory over Henry County. Since his arrival, Galt's teams have gone 9-2 against county opponents and made steady improvement each season, going from 2-8 to 5-5 to 7-3 to 10-1 this season.
What makes them good?
This Dutchtown group is defined by its methodical rushing offense, its aggressive blitzing defense and its clutch kicker-extraordinaire, Ryan Kay. But above all else, the Bulldogs want to make the clock disappear for its opponents.
Galt was exposed to the Double Wing offense as a high school quarterback in California and he brought it to Dutchtown when he took over. If the Bulldogs don't have to throw a pass, no problem. They feature four senior running backs -- Mychael Brown, Kelvin Leaphart, Shaun Nichols and Khalil Thurman. Dutchtown can settle with consuming the clock and getting into Kay's field goal range.
The Bulldogs returned nine starters on its 3-4 defense. Galt said the average high school quarterback can't handle pressure, and so the Bulldogs bring it on defense constantly.
This season has been the culmination of Galt's building process. Dutchtown's 30 seniors were freshman in Galt's first season and have spent four years in the offense, defense and weight and conditioning program.
The weight room has been the foundation. When Galt arrived, he made a fervent request from the school administration to let every football player take weight training.
"You've got some schools that the administration, for whatever reason, they don't help their coaches out. My administration's very, very supportive," Galt said. "That's the biggest difference. You look at every successful program, the ones that are winning year-in and year-out, all their kids are in weight training."
Galt used weight training to "find out which kids are going to quit on you out on the football field," he said.