Watson challenges Bulldogs: Be the next champions

Published 12:02 am Saturday, August 9, 2014

Andalusia High School seniors Bulldogs lead the alma mater. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia High School seniors Bulldogs lead the alma mater. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Andalusia City Schools Superintendent Ted Watson likes to end Andalusia High School Hall of Fame banquets by talking about Bulldogs.

“I’m Bulldog born and Bulldog bred, and when I die, I’ll be Bulldog dead,” said Watson, who has played or coached for at least three schools with a Bulldog mascot.

But on Friday night, those in attendance realized he’ll also always be a coach, when he challenged the 2014 AHS Bulldog team.

Watson, also a former history teacher, said, “We always say we teach history because we don’t want to repeat the past.”

Then, he added, there are some parts of history that he’d like to repeat.

“Having this football tradition, and a sports run like we’ve had, it occurs to me that this (the 1976 Bulldogs football team) is the last state championship team to be inducted into the hall of fame,” Watson said.

The 1958 and 1977 championship teams have already been inducted.

“That should give you a little motivation,” Watson said to the team. “I’d like to challenge you to be the ones that some how, some way, find a way to win.”

Watson talked about watching 2014 HOF inductee Joe Cope when he played center for Auburn.

“Auburn was having a devil of a time moving the ball,” Watson recalled. “In comes this six-foot guy from Andalusia. He’s in shape, he’s strong. He’s waiting for a chance, and he got it. Auburn started moving the ball again.

“I quit watching the ball game, and started watching Joe,” Watson said. “He played with effort and toughness. The same kind of thing coach (Don) Sharpe was talking about seeing in Lebo (Williams).

“Joe had the heart of a tiger,” Watson said. “But before he had the heart of a tiger, he had the heart of a bulldog.”

Watson challenged the 2014 team to “will your destiny.”

“You all have been prepared,” he said. “The weight training has been tremendous. The running has been tremendous.

“My challenge to you is to will your destiny and to become the next team we honor in future hall of fame banquets,” Watson said.

AHS head coach Brian Seymore said he thinks it’s good for his team to attend the hall of fame banquet and hear stories, like Sharpe’s, about having a team that was small and still won a championship.

“I think this reflects what a proud tradition the school has,” Seymore said.

He also said the event could be inspirational for his players.

“We’re looking forward to the 2014 season,” he said.