HANCEVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — The Bulldogs of Hanceville High School had been to the playoffs three straight seasons entering 2014. That all came to a screeching halt as Hanceville dropped their first seven games of the season.
“We were expecting not to be world beaters last year but still pretty disappointing,” head coach Danny Miller said.
“Last year we didn’t have much experience, for sure, and a lot of players quit on us,” junior Kaine Yates said. “We’ve got a lot more people this year.”
The Bulldogs finished the season winning two of their final three games and were in position to will all of them. Miller says that will help tremendously with a team that was very young and returns more talent and players than have been in the program in years past.
“It’s a lot to build on,” Miller said. “These guys got a little bit of confidence going in to the offseason last year.
“Confidence can change a lot of things and I think it will really help our kids.”
“With this talent here, I know we can win some games,” senior Jose Orozco said.
Offense: The Hanceville Bulldogs are a run team. Always have been and Coach Miller says they will continue to be this year.
“We’re never going to get away from that,” Miller said. ” I don’t know if we need to throw the ball, but we need to be able to throw the ball a little bit more than we have,”
The Bulldogs return their starting quarterback Brennan Hurst. They will also regain the services of running back B.J. Smalls, who missed the entire 2014 season with a knee injury.
Miller says they are looking into spreading the field a bit more this season than they have in the past.
“We’re looking at some things, spreading the field a little bit, but mostly spreading the field to run the ball,” Miller said. “Our mainstay will still be running the football.”
Defense: The Bulldogs aren’t going to abandon their identity on defense, either. Hanceville has long been known to play a 4-4 defense, and Coach Miller says that will still be the case this season.
“Basically a 4-4 with some adjustments out of that,” Miller said. “We’re looking at doing some odd front stuff this year and changing some things up.”
One player who will be a focus for opposing teams is Yates. He was All-State last season as a defensive end, but this year, coaches have him practicing at middle linebacker. Even as a junior, he will be looked at as a leader for this team.
“Kaine’s one of those guys…we’re probably going to line him up in a lot of different places,” Miller said.
Yates and Orozco, who plays defensive back, are looking forward to being a leader for a team with more talent coming back.
“I like it a lot, being able to be over the defense,” Yates said.
“Being a senior, you have to be here,” Orozco said. “You have to be a role model to all these young guys, so that’s what I’m looking to be this year.”
Last year’s 2-8 record for Hanceville was far away from the norm for the Bulldogs. From 2011-13, all of which included playoff appearances, the school lost a total of four games in the regular season. That kind of dominance and consistency is what Coach Miller and company are looking to return to with the largest and most talented team Hanceville has had in a long time.Hanceville Bulldogs 2015 Football Schedule:
8/28 – Fairview
9/4 – @ Winston County
9/11 – Vinemont
9/18 – @ Addison
9/25 – @ West Point
10/2 – @ Winfield
10/9 – Oakman
10/16 – @ Holly Pond
10/23 – Susan Moore
10/30 – Good Hope
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