2014 football preview: Albemarle Bulldogs

2014 football preview: Albemarle Bulldogs

Football

2014 football preview: Albemarle Bulldogs

State titles are nothing new for Bulldog nation. With championship teams dating as far back as 1953 and most recently 2010, success is expected.

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State titles are nothing new for Bulldog nation. With championship teams dating as far back as 1953 and most recently 2010, success is expected.

ALBEMARLE, N.C. – It’s almost as if Tim McGraw was describing the small city of Albemarle in his famous hit “Where the Green Grass Grows”. Residents would say just what McGraw says, “Well I’m from a map dot, a stop sign on a black top.”

The small community of 16,000 is home to the Albemarle Bulldogs. When Friday nights hit in Albemarle, they hit hard, and not just on the football field.

Residents pack lawn chairs and commute to the football field, or, if you are an Albemarle resident, it’s simply the “the Dog Pound”. It’s more than just a football game, it’s a social gathering. A place to reminisce on the days in which they played.

Local stores, gas stations, and restaurants close their doors just to get a look at their beloved Bulldogs.

Message boards are filled with various usernames that express excitement, expectations, and hope for the season ahead.

State titles are nothing new for Bulldog nation. With championship teams dating as far back as 1953 and most recently 2010, success is expected.

A one sided dog fight ended their 2013 season. For the third consecutive season Albemarle faced off against Murphy in the NCHSAA playoffs, and for the third consecutive season, Murphy got the best of Albemarle.

Enter coach Doug Talbert. Talbert is in his first season as head ball coach but has been with the program for 11 seasons. He has helped bring three state titles back to Albemarle.

High profile players are nothing new to Albemarle. Denico Autry, Lee Autry’s older brother, went on to play defensive end in the SEC for the Mississippi State Bulldogs and recently, was picked up by one of the most storied franchises in the NFL, the Oakland Raiders.

Now, it’s the younger Autry’s turn to shine. With a commitment to Wake Forest University in hand, Lee can focus on unfinished business.

According to 247sports.com Lee is a 3* defensive tackle. Lee is a 6’3 290 pound handful with the power to get through double teams, and the finesse to put a swim move on your best offensive lineman.

In just three short seasons playing defensive tackle for the Bulldogs he has managed over 440 total tackles.

Lee has big shoes to fill. His brother brought a state title back to Albemarle, went on to be a star in the SEC and is now in the NFL. Judging by his size 16 cleats Lee shouldn’t have any problems filling those shoes.

The Bulldogs open their 2014 season against Davidson Day. The Patriots torched the Bulldogs last season due largely in part to a player who now plays in the SEC, quarterback Will Grier.

After gallons of sweat poured onto the floors of the weight room and blood soaked the practice fields this summer, Albemarle is ready to claim something they haven’t had in three long seasons- a state title.

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