- Cullman, Alabama

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October 10, 2012

PREP FOOTBALL: Bulldogs sitting pretty at 4-2 after uncharacteristic start

CULLMAN — David Smothers knows that the expectation to win comes with coaching at Addison.

However, despite an 0-2 start by the Bulldogs, the first-year head coach knew not to panic.

And panic he didn’t.

Addison has since reeled off four straight victories, scoring an average of 44 points per contest while yielding less than a point per game in the same span. Following a Week 2 loss to Class 1A No. 4 Ragland, the Bulldogs have shut out three of their last four opponents.

“We started out the year against two very good teams,” Smothers said. “Combine that with mistakes and learning new schemes and you get 0-2.”

He added that the atmosphere in the locker room has totally changed over the past four weeks.

“I think that the kids have certainly gotten more confident and more comfortable within what we are trying to do,” Smothers said. “They’re learning it and liking it more and more each week.”

The coach didn’t change much when he took over the job in July, adding a no-huddle version of the already installed pro-style formation.

While the scheme hasn’t changed, the pace has.

Smothers estimated that last year’s squad averaged somewhere around 40 snaps per game. That’s chump change compared to this season’s Bulldogs.

“We are getting in somewhere between 60 and 70 snaps per game on offense,” he said. “That’s what we want.”

Smothers added that his inability to be with his team during the spring hindered the teaching process, but he doesn’t use that as an excuse for the teams’ early perfomances.

“We made a lot of mistakes against Ider and against Ragland,” the coach said. “But we are getting are better for sure, both offensively and defensively.”

Jessie Seals, a senior wideout for the Bulldogs, said that although their season didn’t start out great, he thinks they have nowhere to go but up.

“We were pretty frustrated with the first two games,” the two-way player said. “We pretty much just all decided to step up and do our jobs after that.”

Seals has been partly responsible for the turnaround, returning three punts for touchdowns during the first six games of the season.

“It’s just good blocking from my teammates,” Seals said of his knack for finding the end zone. “It seems like there is a free running lane every time I get the ball.”

Seals’ teammate, Frankie Melson, said things have settled down since the team struggled with the learning process during the first two games.

“Everything was just kind of new early on,” the junior offensive lineman said. “I think though, that if we play like we should, we can go pretty far this season.”

Addison (4-2, 4-1 in 1A, Region 6) will travel to Sumiton Christian (2-3, 2-2) Friday night to take on the Eagles. The meeting will be the first ever between the two schools.

“Sumiton has lost their past two games, but they are very well-coached,” Smothers said. “They can expose you quickly on offense. We’d like to go in there, get a win and be able to control our season the rest of the way.”

% Jake Winfrey can be reached at 256-734-2131, ext. 258 or at

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