TOWNSEND — Many high school football teams dusted off their pads for the first time last Friday, but the Townsend Bulldogs got the luxury of a week off to open their season.
As they begin to get ready for their first test of the season against Anaconda, one of the added benefits of that extra week for the Bulldogs was the ability to install offensive and defensive schemes a bit more methodically than they normally would, had they started the week prior.
"Being able to kind of space out your practices, space out your two days, be able to give them a rest rather than having them pound two-a-days for seven days in a row or whatever it is, and kind of slow down your install. It helps your young kids get caught up," said Townsend head coach Travis Rauh. "One area that I feel a whole lot better about than I did last year is our depth. A year ago, kind of because of the fast install, because it was a really, really short set up, a year ago we didn't feel like we had a whole lot of players that were ready to play at the varsity level. Because we've been able to take it slower this year. We feel that we have more guys that we can [substitute] in and feel confident that they're going to play at a high level in a varsity game."
With that knowledge in mind, the Bulldogs also bolster a roster that features a plethora of upperclassmen that did get a good bit of playing time at the varsity
level, leading to a 7-3 record overall and a second-round playoff finish. Now as some of those upperclassmen prepare for their first test of the 2021 season against Anaconda, players are looking forward at what's to come.
"I think it's been positive. I mean, we did lose two key players, but I mean, we're back out there and we're, we're grinding every day and it's been pretty positive. So I think we're in a good mood," said junior running back Dawson Sweat.
"I would describe it as very good and we've been together since sixth grade," said senior linebacker Klause Rauser when asked about Townsend's chemistry. "You know, we're all really good friends, we hang out all the time. So we know what our other guys are going to be doing."
The Bulldogs will open their season at home against the Anaconda Copperheads on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.