Bull­dogs look to reload for ’18 sea­son

♦ Cedar­town foot­ball host­ing Har­al­son County Thurs­day for camp

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

The long, hot days of sum­mer con­tinue for the Cedar­town Bull­dogs foot­ball team. A few mem­bers of the team will be out in pads and helmets, lin­ing up in a 7-on-7 style camp Thurs­day against Har­al­son County on Doc Ay­ers Field.

It’s just the lat­est round of prac­tic­ing game sit­u­a­tions dur­ing the lead-up to the 2018 sea­son, and al­ready Head Coach Doyle Kel­ley is ex­cited about what his Bull­dogs are shap­ing up to be for this year. For him, Au­gust can’t get here soon enough.

Based on pre­vi­ous 7-on-7 per­for­mances and camps in­clud­ing pads, es­pe­cially in Pick­ens County last week, the team is al­ready com­pet­ing well.

“We’ve still got some work to do, and we’ve got to make a de­ci­sion on who is go­ing to be quar­ter­back for the sea­son,” Kel­ley said. “Hope­fully one of the three we’re look­ing at will rise to the top.”

Those three to re­place three-year starter Trevon Wof­ford un­der cen­ter in­clude in­com­ing ju­nior Taji Hud­son, who played sev­eral times late in games last year as the quar­ter­back, show­ing off im­pres­sive speed and height along with ta­lents on the flip side of the ball as a de­fen­sive back.

“Taji (Hud­son) can run, we know that. He can throw the ball too,” Kel­ley said. “I think we got a lit­tle spoiled last year with hav­ing Trevon (Wof­ford.)”

Kel­ley also has ris­ing sopho­mores Jay­den John­son and Jack­son Bussey to con­sider as well in the quar­ter­back po­si­tions. Both had good years on the ju­nior varsity Bull­dogs squad, and could be just the thing the Bull­dogs need un­der cen­ter.

He’s find­ing out which one of the three will end up re­plac­ing Wof­ford, who grad­u­ated and is headed off to the Uni­ver­sity of Pikeville in Kentucky this fall, and will also be in charge of hand­ing off the ball to an­other ris­ing star at Cedar­town High: Tony Mathis.

Mathis, who will be start­ing in the back­field on of­fense his se­nior sea­son with the po­ten­tial for many of­fers from Di­vi­sion I and Di­vi­sion II pro­grams al­ready com­ing his way, he’s got the chance to show off what the Bull­dogs can do af­ter a 10-2 sea­son that ended with a run in the play­offs in 2017.

Kel­ley said that he feels is se­nior run­ning back will be ready.

“Tony is Tony,” he said. “He does what he does. We’re ex­cited about Tony and what all he brings to the ta­ble.”

Over­all, Kel­ley said he looks for­ward to an­other great sea­son coach­ing the Bull­dogs, only his sec­ond af­ter be­ing hired to take over in 2017.

Kel­ley plans to play a “lot of kids” this year, and he’ll have to with the sched­ule ahead.

Right now the Bull­dogs are still look­ing for an Aug. 3 scrim­mage op­po­nent in pre-sea­son play, but they’ll def­i­nitely be tak­ing the field on Aug. 10 against Chat­tooga County be­fore they’ll be head­ing to Rock­mart to start the sea­son on Aug. 17 against the cross-county ri­val.

They’ll fol­low that up with a 6-A non-con­fer­ence game against the Alexan­der Cougars for their home opener on Aug. 24, and then host Bre­men on Sept. 7.

In their third home game of the sea­son on Sept. 14, Rock­mart plays South­east Whit­field be­fore get­ting into re­gion play for one last home game in a row on Sept. 21 to open re­gion play against Cartersville.

A Thurs­day night trip to La­Grange will be in store on Sept. 27 against the Grangers, then come home on Oct. 5 to play Cen­tral Carroll.

The sched­ule in Oc­to­ber wraps up on Oct. 19 at Troup County and Oct. 26 at home against Sandy Creek be­fore the fi­nal home game of the sea­son at Chapel Hill on Nov. 2.

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