If you follow this level of football beyond your area code and your Facebook friends list, then you’ve probably heard of the Kansas City Bulldogs, and for good reason.
The Bulldogs have won two Midwest Football Alliance Championships in the past three seasons and every year they’re looking to test their mettle against the best willing teams out there.
“Basically, it all boils down to respect,” director of public relations David Bettincourt told Developmental Football USA. “We pride ourselves on taking any challenge and pushing ourselves to the limit every week. Last season, we thought we had done enough to earn a bid to a regional match-up, but it fell through just a couple weeks prior to the game we thought we were in. So, we immediately set out to schedule opponents that have competed on the regional and national stage.”
The team they’re referring to is the Colorado Greyhawks, which have been nationally ranking by every outlet pretty much every year of their existence. The Bulldogs opened up the season with victories over them and the St. Paul Pioneers.
“That really opened our players’ eyes to what they are capable of,” Bettincourt said. “We have full confidence in our staff and players, and strongly believe we can compete with any team in the country and look to prove just that this year.”
When you see this year’s line-up, you may wonder if they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Nah, the Bulldogs are always hungry and have a track record for playing consistent high level football.
Their 2019 non-conference opponents are all ranked in one outlet or another and have a combined 2018 record of 46-7 and all but one team at least played for their league championship. That one team is none other than three-time national champion and seven-time Northern Elite Football League Champion, the St. Paul Pioneers.
“The 2019 campaign we have titled the #LineEmUp campaign,” Bettincourt said.
First up are the Colorado Football Conference Champions, the Denver Sharks, who are ranked No. 15 nationally by National Football Events. Then the 2018 NEFL Runner-Up and 2017 Champions, Minneapolis Warriors, followed by the Pioneers, then the 2018 NEFL Champions and 2017 MFA Champions Sioux City Stampede and 2018 Mid-States Football League Runner-Up and 2017 Champions, Wisconsin Hitmen.
“We have dedicated staff that does their homework on these teams, collects and breaks down film for us to analyze on film nights and they do an outstanding job making sure we are prepared,” Bettincourt said. “The teams we have scheduled this year are very professional ball clubs, we have had no problems with exchanging film with any of them which goes to show what type of organization they run themselves.”
After the non-league gauntlet, let’s not forget the Bulldogs have a pretty tough league schedule ahead of them as well, facing the likes of the two-time national champion and four-time MFA Champion Des Moines Blaze and the 2018 MFA runner-up Omaha Stockmen.
“They are a very well coached organization that has continued to improve every year,” Bettincourt said. “We fully expect another improvement from them this year as well. We believe we have the pieces in place to take care of business and repeat as Champions, but we aren’t naïve enough to count anyone out on game days. We will be battle-tested and ready for every obstacle.”
And he’s right. Every year they’ve proven it. The Bulldogs don’t lose very often, and when they do, the opponent has to earn every single yard.
“I think what sets us apart most is our guys truly have bought into the program both on and off the field,” Bettincourt said. “We have become a family, a foundation of faith-based individuals that extend well beyond the football field. We have created a rich history of winning, and due to the respect the guys have for each other, they fear letting their brothers down. Our guys do everything for the man next to him and that translates and people flock to that type of environment.”
Like any successful organization, it starts at the top and owner Tyrone Groves has laid a foundation for head coach Ron Cherry and his staff to get the most out of their athletes.
“Coach Cherry and most of our coaching staff have a deep military history,” Bettincourt said. “You can see that structure in all of our practices and games. Everything we do starts with respect. Respect your family, respect the game and respect yourself. When guys truly by into this, you see the results.”
In addition to preparing for what is setting up to be their toughest, yet most rewarding season yet, the Bulldogs are also branching out into new avenues in their community.
“We have stepped up in terms of public outing events and for the first time we will step out on the National Flag Football stage,” Bettincourt said. “We were asked to host a tournament here in Kansas City March 16-17 and we will have a team competing in it as well.”
Stay tuned to Developmental Football USA for more news on the Bulldogs.