Bright and early Saturday morning the Douglas Bulldogs were on the turf at Armando DeLucas Stadium for what would be their final practice of what had been a long week offically kicking off the 2012 high school football season.
The morning session those three days were a walk through kind of practice followed by a more intense sessions in the afternoon.
With school starting on Thursday Bulldog football coach Dick Keith did away with the morning session Thursday and Friday allowing his student athletes to focus more on school.
On Saturday the Bulldogs showed some signs of fatigue and some of their drills were not as sharp as the coach would have liked but still Coach Keith seemed pleased by the overall effort throughout the week.
“It’s been a long week but these guys need to acclimate themselves to the condition, to the heat, to the weather because we have to play in that for a while,” he said. “And Tucson and Phoenix are doing the same thing and its hotter up there.”
The coach went on to say he had great participation this summer from a majority of the players so basically they are ahead of the game in a lot of ways.
“The last two days we’ve been able to wear our shoulder pads and helmets so we’ve been able to hit a little bit,” he added.
Thirty-three players are currently on the varsity roster; several of those players missed Saturday’s practice with twisted ankles, lower back problems and even a mild concussion.
“I’m hoping we’ll have those kids back before we scrimmage Buena,” the coach said.
The Bulldogs will face the Colts in a controlled scrimmage Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. at the DHS football field. The event is free and open to the public.
Keith said sophomore Blaze Rose looks good at quarterback and tailback Grant Watkins is also looking sharp at his new position.
“Both will be tested against Buena,’ the coach said. “We’re quick. We’ve got several kids that can fly. Our kids up front are big and strong. … We’re really not going to know until we get out there and get after it.”
Keith said for the most part he and his coaches are pleased by what they are seeing from this squad.
Watkins said after Saturday’s practice he’s enjoying his new position.
“I’m loving it,” he said. “I’m finally getting to hit people in practice.”
The Bulldog running back made some visits to schools in Los Angeles over the summer and attended a football camp at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.
Watkins says he’s focused and ready for what he hopes will be a promising senior year.
The Bulldogs host Empire Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. in what will be the season opener for both teams.