COACH’S PERSPECTIVE — Jody Walker admires young squad’s Bulldog grit

Published 12:07 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

The Nederland Bulldogs were not going to worry about the upcoming game against the archrival Port Neches-Groves Indians until 1:45 p.m. today, coach Jody Walker said.

He wanted the Bulldogs to give all of their attention to the game that was in front of them, and that was against Vidor.

“One thing we’ve learned is not to think ahead or underestimate something,” he said. “It’s very easy to look past and get all caught up in the Mid-County Madness game, and it’s a pretty big game, but my main objective has been to keep them one game at a time.”

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This kind of thinking is what will keep the Bulldogs grounded in this second round of district games, which started with a 48-31 victory over the Memorial Lady Titans on Jan. 21. The Lady Titans had just come from a damaging and unfinished game the previous Friday against Dayton in which the referees ended the game early due to a fight that broke out in the final seconds.

Several Memorial players were suspended in the aftermath of that game. For Nederland (14-14, 3-5 in 21-5A), though, each game has to be played, no matter the circumstances.

“Our mindset is about building, starting new, so we take every chance we get to have success,” Walker said. “It’s a sad situation with what happened with those schools, but at the same time, I told to our girls that we’ve still got to go play, no matter who shows up, and they did that. They put everything out of their minds and went out and played.”

Walker said the Bulldogs’ attitude going into the Memorial game was remarkable, considering the team is quite young with three freshmen, five sophomores and three juniors.

Despite the youth, Walker says his team is showing extraordinary resilience. The Wednesday win against Nederland was followed by a 64-23 loss to District 21-5A’s first place Barbers Hill, but the girls came back on Monday ready for the next game, Walker said.

“We’ve got some pretty good teams in our district, and to play Barbers Hill and go out and come back the next day, it’s as if it never happened,” he said. “One thing about being young is that their attention span is not very long, so they let it go pretty quick and are right back ready to go. I have a harder time letting it go than they do, but it’s been fun.”

Before Vidor, the Bulldogs were 3-5 in district, but the season’s not over yet.

“Our biggest thing coming in Monday, I told them we’ve still got five games left, let’s go finish them,” Walker said. “Let’s see what happens as we get a little bit closer.”

The game against PNG will be at 7 p.m. Friday in Port Neches.