Historic season comes to end

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 27, 2015


The Andalusia Bulldog’s (11-2) first season on new head coach Trent Taylor didn’t end the way they would have liked for it to, but their new coach was extremely impressed with what he saw this year from his players.


“It was a good year,” Taylor said. “Obviously, it didn’t end when we wanted it to, but there are just few teams each year that actually do finish where they wanted.”


One of the things that Taylor pointed to as being a key part the Bulldogs’ success, was the leadership of the seniors.


“The seniors are a just a tremendous group of kids,” Taylor said. “They had been in the same system for three years and then all of sudden in the last year here comes a new guy. For them to come in and buy right in on what we wanted to do, that just speaks volumes about their character. The underclassmen always look to the older guys for what they should do and these guys were great examples for them. The seniors came in and said, ‘Here is where we are at and we are going to make the most of the situation,’ and they did just that.”


Taylor said that one of the most impressive things about this year’s team was the way they continuously improved throughout the season.


“When you get in to the playoffs, it gives you a chance to really go back and look at what you did during the season against teams that made you successful,” Taylor said. “One thing I noticed, and the thing that impressed me the most, was how much better we looked as a team at the end of the season. Obviously, we start off with a big win over T.R. Miller and then go up against U.M.S-Wright in week two, but if you look at our team then and then look at us at the end of the season, you would think it we were a different team.”


When the season began, Taylor said his goal for the team was to improve with each week and the Bulldogs did just that.


“Improvement week-to-week,” Taylor said. “That is what we wanted from them all season. The whole group set a goal to never be satisfied and keep driving to get better, and we did that.”


Another thing that Taylor said was great to watch was the players growing up and maturing as the year progressed.


“See the whole maturation process of the kids was great,” Taylor said. “We weren’t a team with a lot of seniors and so we had a lot of underclassmen who had to play significant roles. At the beginning of the year, that was a bit concerning, but they grew up quickly and did well.”


One other significant factor to the Bulldogs’ success was the how well the coaches clicked.


“One of the biggest factors, I think, was how quickly our coaching staff gelled,” Taylor said. “We had nine guys, and only two or three had ever coached together. That was equally important to our success that they gelled so quickly. You know, the kids are perceptive and they see those things. They believed in each other and what we were trying to accomplish together.”


Taylor said that the fact that there wasn’t a magic moment in the season speaks volumes about how the kids just kept grinding and doing what they needed to do. Taylor did say that they T.R. Miller win was big and that it was very special for the Bulldogs to win a playoff game for the first time in several years.


“It was a successful season and I’m very proud of these players,” Taylor said. “One thing is for sure, a season like this makes is exciting to get back into the weight room in a few weeks and get ready for next season. Season starts in about 200 days or so.”


Another highlight of the Bulldogs’ season was junior running back Jamal Hourel breaking the school’s single-season rushing record for yards. Hourel finished the year with 236 carries for 2,396 yards and 35 touchdowns.