Turnarounds don’t happen overnight, and the process has been slow going for the Austin Bulldogs as they seek a return to winning ways.
The Bulldogs haven’t had a winning season since 2012 and have not reached the postseason since 2013 — a task now undertaken by first-time head coach Mike Arogbonlo.
“You just focus on taking it day by day and game by game. A big thing we talk about here with a new coaching staff coming in is really paying attention to all those little details that make great men and not just players,” Arogbonlo said. “That’s what I’m striving for.”
The star of the show offensively will once again be senior wideout Troy Omerie (782 receiving yards, 13 touchdowns in 2018), who gave a verbal commitment to Texas A&M in June. Junior receiver Keelian Bryant will also be leaned upon after catching just two passes last year.
“Everyone’s going to be focusing on Omerie, so whoever’s on the opposite side from him is going to have a lot of fun,” Arogbonlo said.
To give his quarterback time to find those wideouts, Arogbonlo and his staff will look to senior tackle Kendal Septs along the offensive line.
“He’s trimmed up, lost some weight and he’s moving well,” Arogbonlo said. “Everything in football starts up front.”
Junior defensive tackle Chase Myers (45 tackles, five sacks) returns to anchor the defensive line along with a new weapon in Sammy Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound defensive end who runs a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and will be playing high school football for the first time.
“(Chase) is really going to cause some havoc in the middle of the line,” Arogbonlo said. “(Sammy) is going to be a big problem, and I expect him to blow up pretty quickly.”
Arogbonlo and the Bulldogs get their first chance to show off their weapons at 6 p.m. Saturday with a home game against Katy Tompkins.
“I didn’t invent football I just try to pick things up along the way and learn things from different people,” Arogbonlo said. “What we’re going to do is try to play fast and do some things differently than may have been done in the past here. We just want to try to be multiple and stretch the defense out and play to our strengths.
“It’s not about what we know, it’s about what the kids can do. We try to lean on that. There’s not much secret to what we’re going to do except for how we’re going to execute it.”