Quitman: Bulldogs working on consistency for 2011

The Bulldogs took the next step in their third year as a program, making the playoffs out of the 5-2A. Quitman fell in the first round at Des Arc, but making it there was progress.

“We accomplished one of our goals by making the state playoffs,” coach Fritz Heidenreich said. “We were fortunate to win just enough conference games to make it in. There were bright spots like the pace of our offense. Our hurry up no huddle paid off in some key situations.

“Defensively we got better as the year progressed. In our playoff game our defense held us in the game for awhile, but we could not put the ball in the end zone. One big challenge we have this year is to have our offense and defense both clicking in the same game.”

Junior Hunter Martin (6-3, 175) returns at quarterback after putting up 1,613 total yards and 18 total touchdowns in 2010. His primary target will be junior Chase Stewart (5-9, 160). Stewart racked up 524 receiving yards and caught five touchdowns as a sophomore.

“Stewart should be the go-to receiver,” Heidenreich said.  “He has great field awareness and is very aggressive. Junior Dakota Bohannan (5-7, 130) is our fastest receiver. We’re looking to him for big play capabilities.”

The Bulldog offensive line boasts four seniors: guard Christian Bartholomew (6-3, 220), center Trey Watson (5-11, 260), guard Parker Ring (5-7, 200) and tackle Chris Grubbs (6-5, 305).

Kevin Peterson (6-1, 185) returns as the Bulldog defense’s leader. The senior linebacker made 202 tackles last season. He’ll be joined by senior linebacker Jeremiah Johnson (5-8, 175). Johnson recorded 146 tackles and four interceptions as a junior. He turned two of those interceptions into touchdowns.

“Defensively we are counting on our linebackers and our ends to provide help containing the outside,” Heidenreich said. “We have some big interior lineman who we hope will handle the inside running game. Our secondary is a bit inexperienced, but they have a good concept of what we are trying to do.

“Our conference race may be a little more wide open this year. However, Bigelow and Magnet Cove have to be the favorites to compete for the top two spots again. Hector, Poyen and Two Rivers have some excellent young players moving up. Conway Christian and Mountain Pine are always tough.”