CELINA – The old saying goes the difference between superiority and excellence is attention to detail and Celina head coach Brennen Bader is hoping his team wll be focusing on the small things in order to get the Bulldogs back to their winning ways.
Celina stumbled through a 2-7 season and even though they should signs of improvement, the Bulldogs never seemed to find that winning formula.
“We weren’t happy with 3-7 and nobody is,” Bader said. “We were in some games at the end in the fourth quarter and we didn’t finish and we had a chance and we could have easily won six maybe seven games had we finished but our mind set this year is we have to get better at the small things and the details and being able to finish the games better.”
Bader adds that he hopes the players who are returning back this year learned from those miscues and turn those losses into wins.
The Bulldogs return 12 letterwinners.
On offense the team returns its quarterback, Cooper Jones, running back Jaxson Sillman and offensive tackle Ridge Walley and this provides a solid foundation for the Bulldogs.
Jones was effective under center after passing for 935 yards and passing for 984 yards and the dual threat signal caller combined for 20 touchdown.
Sillman was fifth in the WBL with 825 yards and 187 receiving yards and notched 10 total 10 touchdowns.
Like the team’s unofficial motto at getting better at the details, Bader said the offense is no different.
“We need receivers running precise routes,” Bader added. “We need to get off the line of scrimmage and the quarterback carrying out the fakes and protecting the football. It is a lot of the details this year more than anything else and I think we are doing better at that.”
Bader points out that the Bulldogs want to establish the run in order to bolster the passing game.
“We have lot of skilled positions back and we have three or four guys and maybe five receivers that played last year so we have a lot of experience coming back on offense,” Bader said, “ Defensively the same thing. We were young in the secondary but we have lot more experience back there.”
The Bulldogs also return two senior linebackers but Bader adds that the defensive line will be filled with younger players but said there are some top candidates with talents to fill the holes.
“We can’t give up the big play,” Bader said. “It felt like last year we won first and second down and got teams to a third and long situation and we really challenge our players to get off the field on third and fourth downs and teams hurt us there.”
Like all teams, the Bulldogs did not have the luxury of past seasons during the spring and summer but Bader said he simply wants to control what they can control and work on the rest.
“We want to make sure we are in shape and that is something we have control over,” Bader said. “Lately we have been trying to simulate game situations in practice.”
Bader added they have added some intrasquad scrimmages to break up the monotony of two-a-days and keep the energy level up.
Bader understands that the first couple of games in evaluating his talent is going to be crucial.
“When you don’t get actual scrimmages it is huge but everyone is on the same page,” Bader said. “We as coaches just got to organize practices and keep it competitve and keeping our guys on edge and creating game like situations to the best of our abilities so when we do to our get week one opponent on whoever it may be our kids will be ready to go.”
Even though the season is vastly different then in previous years, Bader said preparation remains the same and hopes by the time the playoffs roll around the team will be hitting its stride.
“We at our strength at the end of the schedule anyway and as you enter week seven you want to be at your best so I don’t think a whole lot is going to necessarily change despite the fact that everyone makes the playoffs,” Bader said. “Our mindset is always one week at a time and each Friday night we want to win that particular game so I don’t see it changing at all other than the teams we might have to prepare for.”