When I think of the Woodridge Bulldogs the first word that comes to mind is balance. They are the perfect example of how balance and stability can propel a team to multiple winning seasons. Over the past two years the Woodridge Bulldogs have gone 8-3 (6-0) in 2013-2014, and 8-3 (5-1) in 2014-2015.
Talk about consistency.
Then we look deeper into the team over the past few years. Coach Jeff Decker has implemented a system that will certainly provide players with a balanced consistent atmosphere with which to play in. He discussed such key aspects in an interview, saying “Our offense will be very balanced running and passing. We have very explosive, fast, athletes at the Receiving and Running Back positions that we will try to spread the ball to.”
And Coach Decker went on to talk about his Quarterback, saying “Our QB, which seems to be our younger candidate Mason Lydic, has put himself in that position with excellent athleticism, great decision making, and just a natural instinct for getting out of trouble and not panicking, no matter what the situation.”
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
Yes, the young Quarterback sounds as if he will be a perfect fit in a system that preaches patience and good decision making. And not just the mental aspects, but Coach Decker’s team is gifted with something almost as valuable as a good system and smart players, very athletic players.
We will discuss which players Coach Decker thinks will have high impact, breakout like year, later on. Now though we will discuss the Bulldogs defense.
Coach Decker pointed out one fact that will be of great importance for the Bulldogs this year. He said “Our Defensive Back are all returning from last years starting group, so we are very experienced there.” The Bulldogs have the luxury of having all four starters return this year, those being Nick Gaspro and Joe Novak at the Safety positions, along with Alec Shaheen and Jackson Taylor at the Corner Back spots. While this team may be young up front, which could present challenges, they are completely loaded on the back end, and will thus present a great challenge to opposing offenses looking to pass the ball.
But they do have areas of concern “We are young at the Line Backer position,” Coach Decker pointed out “But feel it could be a strength with some very aggressive and very skilled kids.” He pointed out that the Bulldogs Defensive Line was the same as their Line Backers, young but aggressive. While the Bulldogs Secondary will be one of the best in the PTC, you might see struggles on the Line and at the Line Backer spot early on. It’s only natural for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of in-game experience to struggle, especially when faced with the likes of a team like the Mogadore Wildcats a completely physical ground and pound team, or the Streetsboro Rockets that are always one of the most athletic teams in the conference. What will help the defense is reps, and as the reps pile up, so will the defensive stats.
Now to get to the Pre-Game Huddle:
Key offensive player to watch out for this year will be Joe Novak and Jacob Margroff at the Receivers spots, two players that Coach Decker said have Division 1 speed, with Novak taking the top off of opposing defenses and Margroff on the Yards-After-Catch.
Coach also said to watch out for possession Receiver Nick Gaspro, Running Back King Sanders, and Tight End Jacob Malley.
It will certainly be interesting to see how the younger Quarterback, Mason Lydic, handles the starting role, and if he starts making mistakes how long his leash will be.
Defensive standouts this year will be all of the Secondary players we mentioned before, as well as another interesting name. Coach Decker brought up Dontae Craft, a returning player on the Defensive Line. It will certainly be intriguing to see how well he can anchor the Line given the lack of experience early on.
I predict that the Bulldogs will have another solid year, but will suffer early on from lack of experience. I will say that the Bulldogs will end with a solid 7-3 season, fighting for the division lead once again.
I would like to thank www.nfhsnetwork.com and www.portagetrailcentral.com for their information on the standings.