The Winder-Barrow High School football team enters the second week of the 2013 season expecting a track meet.
Bulldogg head coach David Wagner said Monroe Area’s team speed will be a major factor this week as his team looks to improve to 2-0 after defeating Jackson County Comprehensive High School 26-21 in the season opener.
“If you are out of position defensively against Monroe Area at all, they can go the distance,” Wagner said. “If you are in position they can still go all the way on their ability. They have six or seven players who can really run.”
While Monroe Area’s offense has received most of the attention in recent seasons, the Purple Hurricane defense is also nothing to ignore.
“It’s the same thing defensively for them,” Wagner said. “Their back four really fly to the football. Loganville is always a solid team and they appeared they would be about to get to the edge, but the runner would then be swarmed under after a one-yard gain. Monroe Area is well coached and has a ton of talent. That is a good combination for football.”
The WBHS team enters this week on a confidence high after holding on in its season opener.
The Bulldoggs led 26-21 late in the game, but a turnover gave Jackson County a chance to score the potential game-winning touchdown. The WBHS defense held, however, and the team had put a game in the win column.
“We made a lot of mistakes against Jackson County,” Wagner said. “When we graded the film top to bottom, we realized we overcame the mistakes with effort. Anytime you win and beat a good team when you don’t play your best, it’s a good feeling. Believing you can win is important. We are seeing the confidence building in this group. We are going to be tested physically and mentally this season by some of the teams we face. Any confidence you can gain early will make a difference.”
A key this Friday will be for the Bulldogg defense to make a couple of early stops and to keep the high-octane Monroe Area offense in check to some degree.
“Our best defense will be to sustain drives offensively,” Wagner said. “Our defense can’t be on the field for 70 snaps. Of course, if we score on two plays, we will take it, but it would be great for us to have some long, time-consuming drives.”
The Bulldoggs returned to practice Monday at 8 a.m. to begin preparing for the Monroe Area contest.
Even with school out for a holiday Monday, work continued for the WBHS football team.
“The players like to have morning practice to then have the rest of the day to themselves,” Wagner said. “If we had practice in the afternoon then the players are just sitting around waiting for it.”