The Nederland Bulldogs have had a rough opening three weeks to their 2019 season, but things could be looking brighter with their district season beginning this Friday night. Monte Barrow's crew opens up with a trip to Santa Fe where the Indians will be looking to improve on their 1-2 record.
"We are a confident group who are looking forward to Friday night," said Barrow. "Santa Fe is a solid team, but we know what we need to do to get the job done, it's going to be a good game."
The Bulldogs have plenty of firepower with junior running back Josh Mazyck leading the district in rushing at 290 yards over three games. Sophomore wide receiver Kyndon Fuselier is second in receptions (20) and yardage (303 yards) while senior quarterback Bryce McMorris is third in passing yards at 498.
"On offense we have Josh (Mazyck) who has really stepped in for Kade Scott who hurt his hand in our second game, we'll be fine once he returns. We expect him back possibly this week."
Defensively, Nederland is looking to find their groove after giving up 35 points to a speedy Beaumont United crew in game two and 43 points to Silsbee, a perennial 4A power, a week later.
"We're not going to change too much on defense," said Barrow. "We have some things we have to work on but we're looking to continually get better as the season goes on. It all starts over this Friday."
Nederland currently ranks fifth in District 12-5A in team defense allowing 373 yards a game.
The Bulldogs will be looking for their second straight victory over Santa Fe after last season's 21-0 shutout.
After losing out on the district crown last season, Monte Barrow's Nederland squad will look at redemption for 2019. With 26 returning lettermen and 10 total starters back, the Bulldogs are looking at a top finish for the first time since 2013 when they went 10-2 overall.
Barrow enters his third season as Bulldog head coach and will look to build up a solid program that for three years has made it to the area round of playoffs.
It all begins this summer with 7on7 and the start of August practices.
"We're not a big 7on7 program, but we entered ourselves in three tournaments this summer," said Barrow.
"Anytime you can get your skill players to throw and catch that's not a bad thing."
The Bulldogs lose 28 seniors from last years squad to graduation and will look for some new talent to take over the reins in 2019. Senior QB Bryce McMorris should prove solid under center with up and coming sophomore Kyndon Fuselier ready for stardom.
"We're excited about our skill positions coming into the season and what we are going to be able to put on the field," said Barrow.
"Bryce got a lot of experience last year with Blaysin (Fernandez) being hurt most of the season. He looked good over the spring throwing the football, got some good feel with the receivers, you can kind of see it happening right now."
Barrow will look to accomplish in three years what it took his mentor, predecessor, and Nederland coaching legend, Larry Neumann nineteen years to do, win an outright district championship.
"Football brings people together," said Barron.
"It teaches you so many things about life, that's what makes it so special to do it here in Nederland."
PODCAST WITH HC MONTE BARROW