The Galena Bulldogs are ready to continue the success of last year with an experienced group of hard-working individuals.
The Bulldogs have arguably one of the fastest backfields in the CNC this year with junior Deacon Henson, All-Conference senior Nick Sarwinski, and AJ Holmes.
Last year’s quarterback JC Shelton, one of the state’s most decorated athletes, was lost to graduation. Sophomore Brett Sarwinski will be the new signal-caller for the Bulldogs.
That talent mixed with the size and experience of a returning offensive line should greatly benefit the Galena offense again.
“Our biggest challenge to starting the season (2018) was a group of linemen that had not had a lot of Friday night experience. They grew and became very solid,” said Galena coach Beau Sarwinski. “The biggest change we are going to have is to find a quarterback as we lost one of the state’s top players at that position.”
On the offensive and defensive line, the Bulldogs are bringing back All-State seniors Dylan Fields and Rico Gordon, who earned All-Conference honors last year. Just like the quarterback spot, the front line will also have new faces appearing, including seniors Mason Clark and Xander Beliew, and junior Hayden Pence.
Other key players for the offensive and defensive side of the ball include seniors Logan Henderson, who plays at the tight end and linebacker spot, Ryley Williams will step up in the tight end and defensive end spots, and Cameron Jones and Dylan Anderson, who both will double as wide receiver and defensive back.
Galena’s underclassmen, like years before, look to be a factor not only this season but years to come as well. Sophomore Randy Cockerel is expected to get some varsity playing time at running back, and defensive back positions and freshman Tyler Little will join the ranks of the offensive and defensive line.
“We are going to have to grow up quick and improve,” mentioned Sarwinski. “It is time for some of our juniors to step up, and some sophomores will have to as well.”
With 3 Regional, a Sectional and Sub-State appearance all in the last 5 years, expectations remain high, and Galena will be the team to beat in a talent loaded Class 3A District 1.
The Bulldogs will have to travel to a Prairie View, a team who like Galena last year is replacing a talented line this season. Galena does have the home field to their advantage in district play against CNC rival Frontenac, the physical Caney Valley Bullpups out of the Tri-Valley League, and the speedy Parsons Vikings team who is competing as an independent in football for the 2nd year in a row.
Visit the Galena Bulldogs football team page on SEK-Sports.com for results and team content.