Eustace has good system in place, looks to build in 2019
EUSTACE–The Eustace Bulldogs had a strong 2018 season and look to build on that success under second-year Head Coach Steve Smith.
Despite going 4-8 overall, the Bulldogs had a strong finish to the season in district play, going 3-2 and making their return to the postseason in Smith’s first year at the helm.
Eustace even exceeded those expectations and defeated Bonham in exciting fashion as they won a 59-34 Bi-district round shootout. The Bulldogs would eventually fall in the Area round to Gladewater, but a return to the postseason under a new head coach shows the Bulldogs have a good team in place that is willing to learn a new system.
Smith says the Bulldogs are even ahead of where they expected to be after just one year.
“Being in the second year of the program, we’re far ahead of where our expectations are,” Smith said. “I think the kids have bought in and we’re way far ahead of where we started off last year.”
With a large class of the players entering upperclassmen territory, the leadership of the Bulldogs is in a good spot where there is teaching transferring down to the younger players.
“We may not have the star power of the fire power we had last year, but I think the team has a lot better chemistry and as a whole I think we can make up for that.”
Recently graduated quarterback Alejandro Sanchez was a big part of their offense in 2018, but entering the 2019 season, the Bulldogs have a more concerted effort overall to build around each other and trying to bring a better overall game.
“I think they’re not going to have to rely on any one player in particular, they know they’re going to have to work together, they know they’re going to have to support each other. I think we have a good climate with them right now.”
With such a tough district that is continually improving with all local teams in Kemp, Malakoff and Eustace each reaching the postseason and winning at least one game each with Malakoff reaching the State championship, the Bulldogs believe they may be an underdog but they shouldn’t be counted out in a very competitive district.
“With the offseason we’ve had and the way that we’ve worked, I think we’re a bit of a dark horse for us to move up to the top,” Smith said.
The Bulldogs begin their drive Aug. 30 at home as they take on Lone Oak with kickoff set for 7:30 p.m.