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OFFSEASON BUILDS CHAMPS: Andalusia Bulldogs use summer to improve

The Andalusia Bulldogs are using every opportunity they can to prepare for the upcoming football season, and they recently attended an organized team activity event at Elba High School.

“I was pleased with how we competed,” head coach Trent Taylor said. “Everyone really had a good day. I think I was most impressed with the way that our kids held up in the heat. That tells me that what we’ve been doing in June is paying off.”

During the day, the skill players competed in 7-on-7 events and the linemen squared off with linemen from other schools.

“I was impressed with the way all of our guys competed,” Taylor said. “The offensive and defensive linemen were really getting after it out there.”

Taylor said that this year, the Bulldogs will have a much different look.

“This is going to be so different than what we’ve been doing,” Taylor said. “We are not going to be a team that throws the ball a lot.”

There will also be new faces all over the field this year, Taylor said.

“We did a really good job, but we’ve still got things to work on,” Taylor said. “We didn’t have a single player in the secondary that started last season and just a few of the linebackers that played last year. On offense, we didn’t have a single guy on the field in the same position that he played last year. There will be a lot of new faces this year.”

One key position will be the Bulldogs’ quarterback.

“Roosevelt (Weaver) and John Harper (Dubose) both did a good job at quarterback,” Taylor said. “At this point, we still don’t know who will be playing where. They are both capable of being the starter. They can also both play a couple of different positions for us. They aren’t concerned with where they will be playing. Both of them just want to contribute and help the team become successful. That’s just their character. They just want to see this team be successful.”

The chance to compete against other teams in the summer is what Taylor likes the most about going to these types of OTAs.

“They guys learned a lot,” Taylor said. “They have been getting up at 6 a.m., everyday for workouts and this just gives them the opportunity to go up against another team.”

Taylor said the team will take this week off before getting back into action.

“We gave the week of the Fourth off,” Taylor said. “We will come back on Tuesday at 5 p.m., and then 6 a.m., on Wednesday and Thursday. That’s to help get the players acclimated to the afternoon heat. It also allows them an extra day of sleep, or for those with summer jobs, it lets them earn some extra spending money before school starts back.”

Taylor said he wasn’t sure if the Bulldogs would attend another OTA this summer, but he is planning on doing something at AHS with other schools in the area.

The Bulldogs open up the 2018 season on the road against Class 6A Saraland.

This will be the first ever meeting between Andalusia and Saraland.

Andalusia comes into the season with three consecutive regional championships.

Andalusia has made two-straight trips to the Class 4A semifinals and made it to the quarterfinals in the 2015.

Saraland finished the 2017 season with an 8-4 record.

Saraland made it to the second round of the Class 6A playoffs before falling to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.