Three weeks into the season, Mary Persons is right where it needs to be.
The Bulldogs are undefeated. Head coach and athletic director, Brian Nelson, says last year’s playoff run taught his group a thing or two about winning.
“Learning those things made it a little easier this year in terms of going into year two,” said Nelson.
This is only Nelson’s second year as a head coach, but left guard Sam Watson isn’t worried about his coach’s experience. He brings something else to the field.
“He brings a different attitude to it,” said Watson, a senior.
“More dynamic. More excitement. Before every game he gives you a dramatic speech, and it hits where you want it to hit. It’s awesome.”
Whatever coach said last week, it worked. The Bulldogs crushed Henry County 35-0.
Mary Persons’ work on the field has earned them a 3-0 record. Coach Nelson’s pretty proud of that. He expects dedication like that off the field as well.
“We try to make them better husbands and fathers, and citizens,” said Nelson.
That lesson isn’t lost on Watson.
“He knows that to be a good person, a good man, that it takes more than being a good football player.”
Nelson oversees lessons in character education throughout the week, trying to build a foundation that outlasts football.
“I’d like to be here as long as I possibly can and when it’s all said and done, and we leave here, we want the kids to have a good experience,” said Nelson. “And at the same time we want to win some football games.”
The bulldogs visit the panther pit this Friday, where an 0-3 Perry team will be hungry for a win.
“I think they’re well-coached,” said Nelson. “It’s kind of turned into a rivalry game and I think we’ll get their best shot.”
Follow 13WMAZ’s Wes Blankenship on Twitter: @wes_nship