BUTTE — The first week of high school football practice is underway and one of the first teams to put on their helmets were the Butte High Bulldogs.
It was literally the first day — they played a midnight scrimmage on the eve of the official first day of practice on August 10.
The next day, they met up together again for their first official practice. Their focus this year, according to head coach Arie Grey, is taking care of the little things.
“We want a great GPA in the class room, be good citizens, be good people,” he said. “All of those things will take care of the ultimate thing — winning a state championship.”
The Bulldogs only had two wins on their schedule last year, and while the wins were huge, some of the losses were as small as one touchdown. Senior defensive back Kale McCarthy said that was due to falling short at the end.
“Just finishing games,” he said. “There were a lot of games we were in but we didn’t pull them out. I think this year we will do a lot of that.”
According to Grey, the first set of improvements will start in the trenches.
“When you look at both sides of the ball, our offensive and defensive line,” he said. “Those are the two that will have to make the biggest strides for us. Those are the ones to watch for.”
The Bulldogs lost a few key seniors last year, but having a young team gives the opportunity for those guys to sub in and learn.
“It’s fun for us to spend time with the kids and watch them grow,” he said. “Practice is kind of neat because you get to see cool things the kids do and accomplish. We’re just trying to bring some energy and have fun.”
But according to McCarthy, the team’s potential can be summed up in one word.
“Brotherhood,” he stated. “Everyone just loving everyone else and working hard for each other.”
The Bulldogs open up their season on August 24 at home versus Flathead.