Countdown to Kickoff 2022: Vancleave Bulldogs

Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 10:45 PM CDT
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VANCLEAVE, Miss. (WLOX) - There’s no lack of energy at Vancleave.

The Bulldogs return about half of their starters from last year’s squad, with an added jolt here in 2022.

“Blue collar America. We’re hard workers. Like a woodpecker in a petrified forest, keep looking for opportunities,” head coach Kevin Fant said. “That’s the name of this team, we’re work horses and these guys just love football.”

There may be a new full-time face at running back in the form of John Peterson, who will spend a lot of time in the backfield and in his familiar role of safety. But he did tally a few dozen carries a year ago, and with an experienced offensive line, he’s ready to run.

“They’ve been there, most of them, since sophomore year, and one since freshman year,” he said. “There’s no doubt they know the plays, so I trust them. I think we’ll be pretty good.”

A good chunk of the returning starters on defense are in the front seven, among those, Ethan Davis, who says this team’s growth is already visible, before they even put the pads on.

“Last year, once we made a mistake, we would shut down a lot. This year I want to keep going, keep persevering and make sure everybody stays on track,” he said. “The determination we have in the weight room, out here, we’re always putting in work, always trying to get better. Whether it’s going to the field after school, getting extra practice in, or getting up early and coming to the weight room to get stronger.”

The Bulldogs are bought-in after a successful off-season, but there’s still one big box left to check off: hit the field running on week one.

“I tell them, you have to be here first. We can’t make you better if you’re not here,” Fant said. “We had our biggest perfect attendance group since I’ve been here. I’m super excited how these guys have worked this summer, now they have to transfer it to the field.”

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