By Donnell Suggs
The last time the LaFayette Bulldogs were on the football field they walked off as losers. Nine months later they will start the season amongst the best teams in the state in their class. What a difference an off-season can make?
Despite finishing the 2014 season on an eight game losing streak, regardless of their 0-6 Class 2A-Region 5 conference record, even though the LaFayette Bulldogs-the pride of Chambers County that they are-lost more than 10 seniors from last years team, the Alabama Sportswriters’ Association (ASWA) managed to gather four votes for LaFayette in their preseason 2A football poll last week (the poll was officially released on August 4).
The four votes left the LaFayette outside of the top 11 (Gatson High School and Pickens County High School were tied at the bottom of the top 10 with 33 votes) but placed the Bulldogs amongst the seven teams in Class 2A fighting to make their way up the charts.
LaFayette is not alone amongst the teams coming into the 2015 season on the heels of a losing record. Local rival Lannet High School (4-5 on the season) received three votes despite winning more games last season than the Bulldogs. Mobile Christian School finished their previous campaign with a 3-7 record. The Leopards received 13 votes second only to the 17 votes received by Washington County High School amongst the honorable mentions. Defending 2A champion Fyffe High School sit at the top of the poll with 316 votes. The Red Devils finished last season undefeated at 15-0.
Clearly the work put in this summer by the returning LaFayette upperclassmen has made an immediate impact on the sportswriters of the great state of Alabama (including this one). Early practices and individual workouts look to be preparing the Bulldogs for a 2015 season no one in this town or the other ten towns on the team’s schedule will forget.
When asked if he had any comment on the four votes his team received Bulldogs head coach and Athletic Director James Lucas said, “I have no comment at this time.”
The 2015 season looks to be one of actions and very few words.