Addison looks for more success under Smothers

Bulldogs move up one classification to 2A in 2018

By JEFFERY WINBORNE, Eagle Sports Correspondent
Posted 8/24/18

ADDISON — David Smothers is 51-19 during his first six years as the Bulldogs’ head coach, making the playoffs every year during his tenure.

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Addison looks for more success under Smothers

Bulldogs move up one classification to 2A in 2018

Posted

ADDISON — David Smothers is 51-19 during his first six years as the Bulldogs’ head coach, making the playoffs every year during his tenure.

For the third time since 2012, Addison is again changing classes, this time moving from 1A to 2A. Coach Smothers has spent the offseason preparing his team for what will be a more challenging schedule.

“We don’t coach any different,” Smothers said. “Depth is more of an issue. In 1A ball we’ll play 3 or 4 schools on our schedule where our starters are out by the half so they’re not as stressed throughout the 10-game season. Whereas in 2A, there aren’t any of those games. We have to play starters for four quarters to be in the game. We kind of approached the season different in how we worked out this year compared to how we did in 1A.”

Addison opens the season just across the county line at Curry, a team the Bulldogs haven’t faced since 1979, before opening up their home schedule against Piedmont.

Addison goes back on the road in week three, traveling to county-rival Winston County before opening up region-play against Red Bay. They take a break from region play in week six when Vinemont comes to town before a four-game stretch of region match-ups to close out the regular season.

Familiarity will not be on the Bulldogs’ side as they move to 2A. Addison will be facing three teams in 2018 that the school had never met on the football field.

“This year we’re in the dark. Playing Colbert County, I don’t think Addison in the history of the school has ever played them or Sheffield. We played Curry back in the 70s. We have Winston County who we play yearly.

Vinemont is on our schedule quite often. Other than those two, pretty much everyone else is going to be new.”

In his first season playing quarterback as a junior, Zayne Guthrie accounted for 28 total touchdowns. He completed 52.8% of his passes for 771 yards and 11 passing touchdowns. He also threw seven interceptions. With a full year at quarterback under his belt, Coach Smothers is pleased with Guthrie’s growth in the position, feeling “he knows what to do. He’s got to fine-tune things. He’ll pick up on things quicker.”

Behind Guthrie at running back will be missing two key components to the success of Addison’s offense in 2017. Tyler Borden rushed for 1,132 yards and 17 touchdowns last year and Benjamin Robinson put up an additional 776 yards and 11 scores on the ground; both have moved on after graduation.

“Offensively, I think we’re going to be productive, just different,” Smothers said. “We’ve primarily always had a running back in the backfield that could carry it 20-30 times per game. Last year’s group of seniors, we had two running backs in that group that shared that duties back there. We’re having to fill that spot. We don’t know who that’s going to be yet.”

Outside of that key position, Addison will not be short of experience. The ‘Dogs only gave up 15.4 points per game a year ago and the 10 top tacklers from a year ago are back.

“Last year there wasn’t a snap where there wasn’t six or more 10th graders out there,” Coach Smothers said.

But last year’s youth is this year’s experience.

“These kids have seen and prepared for nearly every formation last year. So this year it’s making it easier to understand adjustments and things like that.”

A community that expects a playoff berth, a plethora of experience, a tougher classification, yet Coach Smothers is keeping his team focused on one goal leading up to the season. “1-0. That’s all we talk about, win the first one.”