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Bulldogs want to start season off right against WOS

NEDERLAND — Even though district play doesn’t start for another month, game results will be tallied in the win-loss columns starting this week.

The Nederland Bulldogs take on 4A powerhouse West Orange-Stark Friday at Bulldog Stadium.

“I think it is a different approach for kids, mentally,” Nederland Head Coach Monte Barrow said. “You can preach all you want about scrimmages and different opponents. It is different from practice, but the score is going to count in these games.

“We always preach in the offseason, if they are going to keep score, we want to have at least one more point than the other team.”

Nederland is coming off scrimmages against Hamshire-Fannett and Memorial, and Barrow said WOS is another good test to see where his team sits as the Bulldogs prepare for district play.

READ HERE: Memorial, Lancaster get playoff preview in opening week.

“As coaches, we have a circle where we want to be our best and that is obviously at the end of the season,” he said. “At this point in the game, it is about district. Those are the ones that count and get you to the postseason.”

The Nederland coach said he wanted to go against WOS because of how the Mustangs approach the game.

“We have played them enough to know that if you go out there and you are not ready, you are going to find yourself in a place you don’t want to be,” Barrow said. “We are going to have to match their physicality and intensity. If we do that, it will be another classic of when we played West Orange.”

While WOS has a commanding lead in the all-time record between the two (27-9), the last two games have come down to the wire. In 2019, the Mustangs defeated the Bulldogs 21-20. The year before, Nederland came out on top in a 19-18 contest.

“They are going to do everything right,” Barrow said of the Mustangs. “They are as well coached as any team we will play all year at any level. Those kids are proud of what they are doing and who they are doing it for. They are not unlike us in the fact that the guys that are playing have dads, uncles, brothers and cousins that played. It means something to them to carry on that legacy.”

READ HERE: PNG takes on COVID-stricken Jasper; Bulldogs could be down personnel.

The Mustangs return an experienced offensive line with Division-I talent and a running game to follow it. For the Bulldogs to be successful Friday, Nederland must contain the Mustangs’ backfield. Demetrius Hunter, who committed to play for Oklahoma University, anchors the veteran offensive line.

The game will be the first four-quarter varsity experience for Nederland quarterback Luke Broussard. The junior passer showed off his ability to run in the scrimmages, and the quarterback did not wear a protective jersey to prevent hits.

WOS will likely be without legendary head coach Cornel Thompson, who stayed in the emergency room this week from complications due to COVID-19.

According to a social media post by his wife, Thompson had shortness of breath and high blood pressure. The Mustangs’ head coach returned home Tuesday.