With only Super Bowl LI left to give much of America their final fix of professional football until summer, anticipation is building for the football-obsessed crowd that carries over their passion of the game, year round, into developmental leagues.
Like many leagues, the East Coast Football Association kicks off in February, and few teams are more excited to get the ball rolling than the Washington Bulldawgs.
“We finished doing a successful merger with another team in our area,” Bulldawgs owner Reggie White told Developmental Football USA. “We picked up some additional coaches and additional players from a team called the DC Woodland Tigers. We got like 150 guys in camp right now and we’ve got to trim that down to a roster of 60. We’re in the process of building a high-powered team and the sky is the limit for what can happen.”
The Bulldawgs, who just started play in 2016, ended up playing in two different leagues throughout the course of the year and finished with a combined record of 9-8.
“Basically, I started off the summer season and we only won three games,” White said. “Then, we moved from the summer season into the fall season where we won six games and made it to the playoffs. It was a great accomplishment and what I learned was once you start something you just don’t quit. Just because you lose today, doesn’t mean you’ll lose tomorrow.
“Some people, when they lose, they don’t want to continue with it, they want to just quit. The guys stuck it out and persevered and we made it into the playoffs.”
With a successful merger and an influx of additional talent, the worst days should be behind the Bulldawgs, at least for the foreseeable future.
“I feel like the sky is the limit,” White said. “We’re only expecting to go up. We’re going to really be concentrating on first and foremost, finishing the season successfully, in the top four in our division so we can make the playoffs. When you make the playoffs, it begins a new season and it’s win or go home. Our schedule looks favorable. I feel like we’ve got a good opportunity, going into the season, we’ve got potential to go to the championship game.”
Offensively, the Bulldawgs are faced with the task of finding a new quarterback, but for the right reasons. Developmental teams exist to help players take their careers to the next level and that’s what the Bulldawgs’ 2016 gunslinger did.
“I’m going to have to replace my quarterback, Tyrone Jenkins,” White said. “He’s is moving on to the Europe Champions League. He’s going overseas to play in Istanbul, Turkey.”
Jenkins, who also excels as a defensive back, will be suiting up for the Istanbul Bogazici Sultans.
However, Between the many newcomers from the Woodland Tigers, plus the veterans returning from last year’s team, the Washington offense will not be lacking firepower.
“One guy that I’m expecting to do big things is my running back, Joshua Carter,” White said. “He can really do some good things. One of my wide receivers, we call him Prime, his name is Xavius Carter, he’s a pretty big guy. We’re expecting some big things out of him this year. Between Joshua and Xavius, we should do some amazing things on offense.”
With more than 150 guys to compete for spots on both sides of the football, the positions on defense are sure to fill in nicely. However, two players in particular have caught White’s attention and could prove to become impact players for the Bulldawgs.
“One of my defensive ends, his name is D’arcy Miller, and another guy that plays linebacker, Mike Doss, I’m expecting big things out of them this year,” White said.