Dawgs Set Sights On #1
Opportunity Of A Lifetime vs Belfry?
It would be easy to sit and talk about Belfry’s trips year after year to the state championship, Coach Phillip Haywood being named USA Today’s 1st #1 Coach in America, The stable of backs 7 deep led by Carr, Johnson, Warren etc. How Taylor blows the top off a defense, How physical Belfry’s defense is. I wholeheartedly respect every bit of that.
Tonight none of that matters! What matters is the name of the front of our jersey!
You see I grew up over the hill from Lawrence County High School. In the Fall, as far back as I can remember, I would get chills when the percussion was practicing. While you couldn’t see over the hill, the banging of the drums meant it was time for our whole community to bond around our beloved Bulldogs. Most kids played in the endzone or gazed in awe from the bleachers dreaming of one day putting on that Bulldog jersey.
That opportunity finally came along and it was beyond our wildest dreams. A bunch of small town country kids loved each other so much they built a bond and attitude that can’t be put into words. They became fearless like their leader and expected to win every game instead of hoping to win. The result was Lawrence Co’s 1st ever 11-0 season. Our town was turned upside down!
Over the next 10 years the Bulldogs would go on to win 107 games and become one of the elite programs in that decade.
Some say “ah living in the past”. I say “learn from the past!” You see those same kids came from the same hollers you do. They sit between the same four walls of that locker room that you sit. They put on that same jersey you put on. Just like you the hairs stood up on their arms from the click clack of the cleats walking down the Dawg Walk. They too lived for the Friday night lights as a Bulldog.
So how did those guys break 42 game win streaks? How did they pull off upsets as 40pt underdogs in the media? How did they wear out #1+2 in the state when nobody gave them a chance? I’ll tell you how because I played on half those teams and coached on the other half.
LOVE! You love that guy on each side of you more than you love yourself! You play for him and you trust him! You go win your individual battle for 7 seconds and you trust him to win his!
ATTITUDE! Be relentless! Having a winners attitude that says we are winning this game some how some way no matter the adversity. Make the decision you are going to be the most physical person that finishes on the field every play because you’ve out worked everybody! There is a reason Alabama has owned everybody the last few years. Their attitude is to physically break your mental spirit!
NO EXCUSES! If you want something bad enough you eliminate all excuses. If you don’t you will find an excuse because they are always around.
WIN TURNOVER BATTLE! That says it all.
BATTLE ADVERSITY! This game of football is like the game of life. Adversity is going to happen. People will lay down and quit on you. None of it matters. All of it is an opportunity to grow. The tougher times get the more you pull together as a TEAM! When you do that you become stronger and stronger. Your bond of brotherhood becomes stronger and your will to win becomes stronger. The weak will seek out excuses the strong will pull together!
FINISH! Finish every play and finish the game. There will be times you become fatigued mentally and physically. Dig down deep!
Remember that image of what’s on the front of your jersey. Remember those before you that love you like family and are cheering you on.Remember the guy beside of you that you have battled beside since you were a kid. Remember all the little eyes watching you that are dreaming of being in your shoes one day. Because of this program kids have learned to dream and then became men. They’ve learned from their experiences as a Bulldog that ANYTHING is possible.
Even going from waterboy for Lawrence County to coaching in the NFL!