QUEEN CITY, Texas — Despite Queen City having its third head coach in as many seasons, there is excitement surrounding the Bulldog football team under Eric Droddy, who is at the helm for the second time.
Droddy was head coach for three of the previous five years he was with the Queen City football program. Droddy served as head coach from 2013-2015.
"The first thing that I did was to get some coaches that I knew and felt comfortable with; we had a lot of open positions to fill," Droddy said. "I don't know the guys who were here before, but I feel like the guys we've got here now are real class guys and good coaches. We wanted to renew the spirit in the program and get the kids excited about being back out there."
The football players have come out for the new season and are picking up the offensive and defensive systems well. Queen City returned 20 lettermen with five starters returning on either side of the ball.
"On of the brightest spots, early, has been the way the kids have reacted to what we're doing," Droddy said. "They seem to be having a good time and are working hard. We're putting in all new systems on both sides of the football, with different terminology. Offensively, some of it was similar to what they were doing, we just call it something different.
"The players have been engaged and picking up our system quickly. The attitude and energy of the kids has been a positive."Gallery: Texarkana Gazette's 2019 Football Edition
The Bulldogs will play a hybrid spread with all snaps in the shotgun early. As the season progresses, there may be more looks with the quarterback under center.
"We'll be three and four wide, one or two backs in the backfield," Droddy said. "I would call it a multiple-spread system, even though my OC hates me calling it a spread. We want to be balanced, and everyone knows my mentality: we want to run the football. We want to get good up front; we've got some good looking kids up front."
Senior Dylan Scott is back at QB, as is senior Adorian Booth at running back.
Receiver Demir Rascoe was a starter last season as a sophomore and returns, as well as four offensive linemen. Kieran Droddy, a junior, will help at running back, and sophomore Josh Davis and senior Caleb Dawson will aid the receiving corps.
"Our varsity depth is looking pretty good," Droddy said. "We're working three or four guys at running back, and a couple of those can go from the backfield to wide receiver to help with depth out there. We've got about 22-23 guys on the jayvee, trying to get some of those players who had become disinterested excited about football again. Our goal is to carry a junior varsity all year long."
Up front, senior tackles Christian Fitzgerald and Even Upchurch are back. Center Noah Perkins is back for his junior season, as is guard Justin Lance.
Senior Drake Moore and sophomore Te'Angelo Neal are returning starters at linebacker for the Queen City defense.
Junior Derrick Alexander will anchor the line at tackle, again, and senior Caleb Dawson returns in the secondary.
"From a defensive perspective, we'll be in an even front, a 4-3 look," Droddy said. "We're working on being gap-sound, fundamentally sound. We're not asking those guys to do much, just go find the football. We don't want to be out of alignment. The simpler we can be, the better we can be because we can just utilize their talents."
Kieran Droddy will help up front, and Davis will play in the secondary. Fitzgerald and Upchurch will add depth to the defensive line, and Roscoe will play in the secondary, as well.
RENEWAL OF MORALE
"The spirit they've exhibited out there at the end of our summer workout program and into fall camp is a strength for us moving forward," Droddy said. "From any of the years I was here before, from what I remember, we've had much more attendance in our summer workouts than before. We're going to start the year with about 11 seniors, and that's exciting that kids are coming out.
"I was told I was going to have to go roam the halls to get kids out, but that hasn't been the case, at all."
The Bulldogs had around 56 kids for the first meeting Droddy held, and he still has around the same number — 9th through 12th grades —showing up every day.
"We're excited about the group of coaches that we've assembled, and we're really excited about the turnout," Droddy said. "Not just from a numbers standpoint, but from a mentality. The kids are very in tune and genuinely excited."
Aug. 30, Harleton
Sept. 6, at Winnsboro
Sept. 13, Hooks
Sept. 20, x-at New Diana
Sept. 27, x-DeKalb
Oct. 4, Open date
Oct. 11, x-at Elysian Fields
Oct. 18, x-Daingerfield
Oct. 25, x-at Ore City
Nov. 1, x-at Waskom
Nov. 8, x-Paul Pewitt
x-Denotes District 11-3A, Div. II game. All kickoffs 7:30 p.m.
SCHOOL: Queen City
2018 RECORD: 0-10
HEAD COACH: Eric Droddy
YEARS AT SCHOOL: 1st
COACHING STAFF: Johnathan Ramey, off. coordinator; Kevin Cossey, def. coordinator; Ryan Kennedy, off. line/def. line; DeAundre Hill, off. line/def. ends; WIll Powell, secondary; Easton Droddy, running backs/linebackers, Tommy Kimble, junior high; Drew Hamilton, junior high.
LETTERMEN LOST/BACK: 12/20
STARTERS BACK: offense 5, defense 5
PLAYERS TO WATCH: QB Dylan Scott, RB Adorian Booth, WR/DB Demir Rascoe, C Noah Perkins, G Justin Lance, OT/DL Christian Fitzgerald, OT/DL Eveyn Upchurch, LB Drake Moore, WR/LB Te'Angelo Neal, DT Derrick Alexander, DB/WR Caleb Dawson.
TOP NEWCOMERS: RB/DL Kieran Droddy, WR/DB Josh Davis.