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For Burgard, character comes first

If the words “losing record” ring funny to the ear when they are connected to the Burgard Bulldogs there is a good reason.

Now entering his 16th season as the Bulldogs head coach, Jason Kolb has only experienced two losing seasons.

When you look beyond that black and white of last year’s 2-6 finish you will see that it wasn’t so much a lack of talent as it was a case of teaching lessons in character.

“Last year I think I lost 13 kids to eligibility (issues). And that was from a very good team the year before,” Kolb said. “With those kids, we would have had a lot better record then what we did.”

Kolb further explained the roster fluctuation the team dealt with all year.

“I think I had a total of 35 kids either quit, transfer, ineligible and there were a few that I kicked off because of discipline issues,” Kolb said. “We’re not gonna tolerate that stuff. We try to run a tight ship. We’re here to create model students. Be good in your school and the community.”

Leading the way for Burgard will be seniors Antonio Norwood (OL/DE), Demario Baines (WR/DB) and Dexter Lee who takes over at QB for Tony Maple.

“Dexter is a very smart kid. He’s close to a 99 average in school,” Kolb said. “Him and Antonio. Antonio will anchor the line but Dexter has a strong arm. He really does. He turned a lot of heads at the passing league. Other coaches were like whoa! Who is this kid? I said he was the kid that backed up Tony Maple last year. He probably would have been a starter, but Tony was a great athlete as well.”

Junior Sincere Jefferson will be back on both sides of the line. While Sonny Hollingsworth (WR/OLB) and Jacquez Jones (WR/DB) are also big returning pieces.

The ‘Dogs will also get an influx of talent from their 8-0 JV squad.

While the staff doesn’t want to put too much pressure on the varsity newcomers, Kolb feels these kids will come in with a winning attitude because they had time to grow and learn in a healthy, winning atmosphere.

“We kept the kids down (on JV) last year. We could have brought a lot of them up. I think we only brought up one -and that was Sonny- because we were depleted at receiver,” Kolb said. “The rest of those freshmen from last year that are gonna be up here this year. We kept them down just so they could develop that winning culture together and that camaraderie and fun experience. I looked over at the JV squad and their practices were fun. They had a great time bonding together. We said go after that. Don’t worry about varsity records. Hopefully it translates to them bringing that attitude to be a varsity player.”

Burgard will be in Section VI Class B-3 this season.

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