JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Spread across two football fields at Burnet High School were 80 players, split into position-specific drills. And that number didn’t include freshmen.
Welcome to Day 2 of fall training camp for the 2013 Bulldogs.
With so many players, head coach Kurt Jones said he envisions having a varsity roster of at least 36 players, which would make it one of the largest the Bulldogs have had in some time.
“That’s four to six more than we carried in recent years,” he said. “We’re moving in the right direction, I’ll say that.”
The large number means the varsity roster will be filled with seniors and juniors. Coaches will be able to have 11 different starters on each side of the ball as opposed to using some of the same athletes to start on both sides of the ball.
“And you always want to be able to play your oldest players,” Jones said. “Sometimes, you lean on some of those youngsters. In past years, we’ve had to do that quite a bit. But we’re moving closer to (depending on older players) as a program. And I think we’re pretty close right now.”
Last year’s team only had nine seniors, so several juniors and sophomores played — some for the first time — on the varsity level.
Jones believes those growing pains now will pay dividends.
“You always see it when you have a group of kids coming back (that) played a lot of downs for you, not only last year, but some of them the year before that,” he said. “The learning curve, especially with the older guys leading who’ve done it before, I think we’re seeing it there. We’re not having to do quite as much teaching as some of those things as in past years.”
Many of the players participated in the Speed Killz Period, a summer strength-and-conditioning program. Jones said he was pleased with the way those players began August training.
“You can just tell they’re excited about the opportunity in front of them,” he said. “And so I think our older guys are out here leading in the way they ought to, and that’s always good.”
Fans are invited to Meet the Bulldogs at 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at Bulldog Field, 1000 The Green Mile.