Son fol­lows in fa­ther’s foot­steps at Bulldogs scrimmage

The Standard Journal - - SPORTS - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

Kevin Bullard once wore the red and black on the baseball di­a­mond at Cedar­town High School, where he played be­hind the plate as catcher and ended up with op­por­tu­ni­ties aplenty for his tal­ent on the field.

Years later af­ter a pro­fes­sional ca­reer in the mi­nors and with the Ari­zona Di­a­mon­backs, the only thing Bullard now swings is a golf club with many trips to the World Drive cham­pi­onships un­der his belt. Yet his love of baseball still lives on with his fam­ily, and though his son isn’t wear­ing the Red and Black of Cedar­town any­more, he still sports the No. 23 in the same po­si­tion as his fa­ther.

So it was a rare op­por­tu­nity for Bullard to come back to his home­town and watch his son play his alma mater in the sea­son open­ing scrimmage be­tween the Wolves and Bulldogs.

“So 23 years ago I was the catcher here, and 23 years later he wears the No. 23 and play­ing the same po­si­tion,” he said. “We’ve got­ten a lot of the same hon­ors – all-re­gion, all-area and all-state hon­ors, and 23 years later my old­est son is do­ing the ex­act same thing. He’s not in the same uni­form, but for his se­nior year start­ing in the ex­act same spot, it feels cool.”

Though Cedar­town took an early lead, Rome got the best of their neigh­bors in the 11-6 win that won’t count on the books, but def­i­nitely counts for the proud dad.

Connor Bullard fin­ished his day with his dad and grand­fa­ther Rich Bullard (a for­mer Bull­dog pitcher) watch­ing along 1 and 2 at his ap­pear­ances at the plate with a stand-up double in the first in­ning, and threw out two run­ners steal­ing.

His dad hopes he fol­lows in the fam­ily foot­steps of get­ting to play pro­fes­sional baseball too. Bullard is al­ready on his way af­ter he ac­cepted an of­fer from the Univer­sity of West Ge­or­gia on Na­tional Sign­ing Day last week.

“He’s ex­cited that he gets to go off and play col­lege ball,” he said. “He’s just a bless­ing of a kid to have.”

For Cedar­town’s part, it gave Bulldogs fans to also cel­e­brate sev­eral new things as well in the game that didn’t count. A whole new home dugout fa­cil­ity got used for the first time on the third base line, and new head coach Gevin John­son got to man­age the team for their first out­ing.

The team was back in ac­tion on Mon­day af­ter press time in their of­fi­cial sea­son opener host­ing Chat­tooga, then hosts Rock­mart for the first of two ri­valry games this sea­son on Tues­day af­ter­noon.

They’ll head to Sum­merville on Thurs­day be­fore host­ing Coosa to cap off the week.

/ Kevin Myrick

Connor Bullard (left) gets ready to hit for Rome as his fa­ther Kevin and grand­fa­ther Rich, both Cedar­town alum, watch from be­hind the nets next to the vis­i­tor’s dugout. Connor wears No. 23 to rep­re­sent the num­ber of years since both fa­ther and son played se­nior sea­sons.

/ Contributed by Gail Con­ner

Top: Rome catcher Connor Bullard reaches for a tag at home plate against Cedar­town in a scrimmage on Thurs­day, Fe­bru­ary 8 be­tween the two teams in pre-sea­son play. The score didn’t count, but Rome won 11-6. Above: Kevin Bullard (right) re­moves his son Connor’s neck­lace be­fore a scrimmage be­gan be­tween Rome and Cedar­town on Thurs­day, Feb. 8, 2019.

/ Contributed by Gail Con­ner

The Cedar­town Bulldogs got their sea­son swing­ing quickly in the right di­rec­tion and took a 3-0 lead over Rome in the open­ing in­ning of their pre-sea­son scrimmage with the Wolves, but fell in a 11-6 loss.

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