The Bulldogs believe they are better because of a core group that returns from last year’s squad.
Head coach Myron Newton, entering his second year at Butler, said the team is putting its 2-8 record from last season behind them.
“We picked up the tempo a little bit; we’re going to be more aggressive,” Newton said. “Our team is still young, so we are trying to give them more football knowledge.”
Junior linebacker-tight end Jerald Carter said improvements can be made this year as long as players take the necessary steps.
“Defensively, we need to stay disciplined and get into our gaps. Offensively, we just need to move the ball,” Carter said.
Senior cornerback Xavier Lightfoot won’t allow the team to dwell on what happened last season. He said it was just part of the growing process.
“We are trying to forget about the past and trying to move on,” Lightfoot said. “We were mostly sophomores and juniors last year. Now we are trying to bring it all together with a more experienced group this year.”
Senior quarterback Sandrez Evans said the off-season work put in by the team will translate to the field, and so will the leadership.
“As seniors, we have to keep talking to the younger players. We can’t allow them to get down on themselves,” Evans said.
Newton said the process to become a perennial contender in the area is a long one, but the team should make strides this season.
“Last year we had a young group after losing a lot of players from the 8-3 team the previous year,” Newton said. “When you have a program in place you are not rebuilding, the team just keeps on moving forward.”
The Bulldogs will face Laney on Friday at 7:30 p.m., a challenge Newton said his team is ready for.
“You can practice all day but there is no substitute for game time. It is a different element,” Newton said. “Laney is going to be fast, talented and well coached. They are coming to play and so are we.”