Return six starters on offense, four on defense

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Orange Grove Journal

Coming off perhaps the greatest season in Orange Grove Bulldog football history, half of that veteran team returned this week to practice.

They are a little older, a little wiser, and according to the coaches stronger than ever.

The Bulldogs ran the gambit last season, making it to the third round of the 3A state playoff at the Alamodome, and OG Head Coach Brent Kornegay has a strong vision for this year's team to take the district title.

"The team looks good this season. They worked hard this summer," Kornegay said during Wednesday's practice.

The Bulldogs have 14 returning lettermen this year, including six starters on offense and four on defense.

Kornegay said the first goal for the team is the district championship, but that every team out there is working for a shot at the state title, and the Bulldogs are no different.

Kornegay said the weight program has benefited the team in the long run and this year's team is stronger than in years past.

They will be up against some strong competition this year in an Ingleside team that Kornegay said looks to be pretty tough on paper.

"The whole district is real competitive, up and down this year," Kornegay said.

A key this year will be to stay healthy, and the coaches are not taking any chances at the start of the season.

The Bulldogs spent the majority of this week in shirts, running through new and old plays and getting accustomed to practice again. By Friday the team will be out in pads, and the coaches will get a more accurate picture of what sort of team they'll have this season.

Kornegay said the juniors and seniors have really stepped up since workouts started, and the students overall have shown an excellent work ethic.

"The kids are stepping up and they've done everything we've asked them to," Kornegay said.

The Bulldogs will play their first scrimmage at home against Odem on Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. The team begins their season at home on Aug. 31 against Banquete.