Bulldogs aim to build on successful 2021

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, June 15, 2022

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The LaFayette football team is looking to build off of its 7-4 season last year by becoming more team-oriented this season. LaFayette Coach Juan Williams thinks this year’s team will be more talented and team-oriented, but there’s still work to do.

“We’ve gotta do a heck of a job coaching this year,” Williams said. “We’ve got a ton of individuals coming in who are new to the game and haven’t been in the spotlight a lot. We’re replacing about six or seven guys who played a lot. We’re going to have to coach them up but teach them a lot better.”

Williams got a chance to evaluate his team during spring practices.

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“We learned a lot,” Williams said. “We played Carroll, which is a 5A school. We learned a lot from that. I’m a big spring guy. You find out who you can depend on during spring. You find out things about that guy on the field in live competition.”

Other schools have started to phase out Spring practice, but Williams still leans on those ten days.

“I love Spring,” Williams said. “It gives you a chance to see what you got character wise or ability wise. Just getting to see that kid in the heat of the moment, that’s what I love. I’m just old in the head. I love Spring.”

The Bulldogs began summer workouts a couple weeks ago, and Williams knows what he wants from his team this summer.

“We must be strong,” Williams said. “We go from the weight room to the heel to the field to the classroom. Everything that we’re doing, we’re doing to learn from the work.”

Williams doesn’t see one player who stands out but instead sees several players who could be leaders.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who lead in their own way,” Williams said. “We want multiple leaders. You don’t have to be a senior to be a leader.”

Williams expects his team to make the playoffs this year, but it’s not just about what’s on the field.

“Our goal football wise is to be state champions,” Williams said. “That’s our goal every year. Our goal life wise is teaching these young men character, persistence and resilience as a person. We’re not only teaching them football, we’re teaching them life lessons.”

LaFayette will start fall practice at the start of August and will play their first game against Loachapoka on Aug. 20.