WHITE HALL — The White Hall Bulldogs enter the 2013 season on the verge of an unprecedented run of success at the school.
Last season, the Bulldogs made the playoffs for a fifth-straight season to tie a school record, now the team looks to set a new one.
If the Bulldogs are going to pull off the feat, they will need a lot of unproven players to step up.
And it starts right up front with the offensive line.
“Hardest position on the team to replace,” head coach Mike Vaughn said.
While, no starters return from last year’s team that went 9-2, the unit appears to be doing well, so far.
“We graduated everybody up front,” Vaughn said. “But, Trevor Garner played as much as anybody.”
Vaughn said most of his linemen have played the position before so the transition should be a smooth one.
“As far as the line goes experience isn’t really the problem — depth is,” Vaughn said.
Early in fall practice, senior running back Irvin Tisdale noticed the O-line’s improvement.
The first thing Tisdale said when asked about some of the positives he’d seen out of his team was, “Inexperienced linemen doing better.”
Another place the Bulldogs will need major production out of is the quarterback position.
All-state quarterback Terrance Warren graduated in the spring. Last season, Warren put up big numbers with his arm and feet. He finished the year with 1,361 passing yards and 13 touchdowns, while on the ground he had 862 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Junior Kirk Baugh looks set to replace Warren, although, Vaughn expects fellow junior Clayton Bowers to battle him for the starting job throughout camp.
“The passing game is a lot further a long than last year,” Vaughn said.
Baugh’s biggest advantage is his dual-threat ability.
“Kirk is ahead, but Clayton will be a good quarterback,” Vaughn said. “Kirk’s just got something Clayton doesn’t have and that’s that he can run.
“They’ll both play some at quarterback this season.”
With Tisdale (1,163 yards and 11 touchdowns) and junior Kendrick Edgerson (987 yards and 11 touchdowns) coming off big seasons at running back, Vaughn knows the passing game will need to consistently make big plays to keep the defense honest.
“Our offense is based on trying to be as balanced as possible,” Vaughn said. “Being able to run to keep the defense up close to the line, and then having the passing game to spread them out.
“You go into each week hoping to be able to establish (the run) early, but sometimes it doesn’t happen that way and you just have to adjust.”
Even though Vaughn said the secondary “might be as fast as any group we’ve had,” the strength of White Hall’s defense lies up front.
“I think our front six are a very talented group,” Vaughn said. “Five have played a lot last year, although, one has moved from tackle to end and Austin Berry has moved from end to outside linebacker.”
Last season, Berry had 84 tackles (37 for loss) and nine sacks and Vaughn expects even bigger things out of the senior in 2013.
“I think he’ll be a star,” Vaughn said.