E.A. Sports Today

Bulldogs’ Bullock back to basics

Anniston High football coach Eddie Bullock (C) knows the importance of getting things done in the summer.

Anniston High football coach Eddie Bullock (C) knows the importance of getting things done in the summer.

‘Nobody wants to work in the summer, but they all want to be like the New England Patriots in the fall. You can’t do it.’
— Anniston coach Eddie Bullock

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Most high school football fans think games are won on Friday night – that’s what they see — but Anniston coach Eddie Bullock knows otherwise.

Games are won in the summer, when everyone else is having a good time somewhere comfortable and players would rather be anywhere than a football field. But it’s in these times the seeds are planted for a winning season ahead – and these days Bullock is working a mean plow.

“We’re going back to Football 101,” he said. “We didn’t know our plays and our blocking assignments. When we come back in the fall we’re going to know our plays and if we know that and execute we’ll have a chance to do well. We just moved up to 5A, so that’ll be rough on us, but I firmly believe if we put in the work …

“Everybody else is working and lifting weights. That’s the hardest part of my job, getting them in to work out. Nobody wants to work in the summer, but they all want to be like the New England Patriots in the fall. You can’t do it. I know I get a lot of flak about that, but nobody knows what we have to do in the summer.”

Anniston is coming off 5-5 season in which they lost their last two games by wide margins and missed a 4A playoff berth by one game.

In these dog days of summer – Bulldog days, for them – they’ve been conditioning and going through 7-on-7 drills. They look strong in the skill positions – multi-threat rising junior receiving Tae Miller already is getting some major exposure — but the biggest challenge to the team’s success is shoring up the offensive line and defense. The Bulldogs gave up 261 points last season, 96 in the last two games with their playoff lives on the line.

“That’s been my job, indoctrinating them into the game of football,” Bullock said. “We’ve got a lot of talent, that’s obvious. Talent without knowledge or know-how is not worth a damn.”

From what he’s seen so far, Bullock said his charges are catching on, buying in and gaining consistency. He said all those qualities have a chance to be difference-makers when the Bulldogs hit the field this season against some unfamiliar opponents.

“Everybody knows we have to work hard in the summertime and just grind every day,” Miller said. “We’ve got to want to be better, want to go to that next level. We’ve got to push each other because we lost a lot of people last year, so … we really have to push hard.”

Bullock has been impressed with the way rising junior receiver Hakeem Ross has embraced the summer routine. Ross, a point guard on the basketball team, not only has embraced the intricacies of his position, he’s learned the assignments and keys of other positions as well.

“Since I’m on the field I might as well know everybody’s position in case (Bullock) wants me to move someplace else,” Ross said. “This time is very important because if you don’t come to summer (workouts), then you won’t know (what to do in the fall).

“I haven’t been out here real long, but I came out here to get better and learn the game – and I’ve been learning it real fast. It’s very important to learn now than later because if it’s later, I probably won’t be able to go as quick as possible.”

East Alabama Sports Today will begin looking at the county high school sports scene as part of its regular coverage plan. Check back often for updates.

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. He can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

en_USEnglish
en_USEnglish