Janet Schrader, Democrat Reporter
"It's a great schedule," said Head Suwannee High Football Coach Jay Walls about the upcoming schedule for the 2003 Bulldogs.
It's great and it's tough. Some of Suwannee's old-rivalry games have been blipped off the schedule. It was either a conflict of scheduling times (Santa Fe) or the team didn't want to have to play the tough Suwannee Bulldogs (Wakulla and Taylor County).
Either way, Walls had a hard time making a schedule this year. He ended up with a lot of holes. Walls said he posted his empty slots on the FHSAA website and got several bites. Suwannee will be playing Paul W. Bryant High School from Tuscaloosa Ala. as a direct result of this posting.
Bryant High School is brand new. This is its first year having a varsity football team, and they had a difficult time filling out their schedule as well. They want to play the Dogs and are even willing to help Suwannee with the traveling money. So on Oct. 24 Suwannee will travel the seven hours to Tuscaloosa to play Bryant.
Actually, Walls said they will go the day before and work out in Alabama.
Another new face in the Suwannee line up for the 2003 season is Seabreeze High school. Seabreeze is a Daytona Beach 3-A school that made it to the second or third round of the play-offs last year, according to Walls. They lost to St. Augustine and Walls said they have one of the top quarterbacks in the state.
Suwannee will also be playing Evangel Christian High out of Shreveport, La. on Sept. 12. This will be a home game for the Dogs. Evangel is another tough school. Evangel has won four state championships and produced Gator quarterback Brock Berlin.
Suwannee's first game of the season, the Kick-Off Classic, will be played at Disney World this year. The game is on Aug. 29 against Monarch High School from Colorado. Monarch won the state championship for their class last year in Colorado. Walls thinks this will be a good test of how strong Florida football really is. The Suwannee Quarterback Club is hiring a bus. Seats are $25. If you want to go, call Wayne Wilson at 362-2205 by Aug. 1.
Suwannee was also plopped into a different district this year, making for some schedule swapping around of its own. No more games with Eastside and Santa Fe (though Santa Fe still wanted to play us, they couldn't due to scheduling conflicts). Instead, Suwannee picked up games with Godby and East Gadsden. Rickards remained in the district with the Dogs.
Eternal rivals Columbia, Madison and Hamilton Counties fill out the remainder of what looks like a very interesting season for the Suwannee Bulldogs.
Walls says the players are in good shape. He's been running them, and they've been lifting. School starts Aug. 8 and the first practice of the regular season begins Aug. 11.
This should be a great and a fun year for the Bulldogs. There are lots of home games, six, and some long road trips. Thank goodness for the Suwannee Quarterback Club. They will be picking up the lion's share of the tab for these road trips. Show your support for the Suwannee Bulldogs and join. Go Dogs!
Janet Schrader may be reached by calling 1/386/362-1734 ext. 132 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.