No high school football team had more close calls than the Dora Bulldogs last season.
Most of those nail-biters ended in defeat. In games decided by three points or less, or in overtime, Dora was a disappointing 1-4.
The Bulldogs will attempt to reverse those numbers in 2011 with a new coach as Dusty Goode takes over for Martin Glover.
The 2010 opener against Cordova set the tone for a season’s worth of narrow defeats. Dora trailed most of the game, but tied the score late in the fourth quarter only to lose 13-7 in overtime. Close losses to Tarrant (19-18), Curry (13-12) and Oak Grove (38-35) followed. Dora’s only narrow win was a 12-10 decision over Corner.
Despite the close losses, the Bulldogs squeaked into the playoffs for the first time since 2006 with a 3-7 record. Anniston knocked Dora out in the first round.
This season, Dora will host Cordova on Thursday, Aug. 25 in a matchup of new head coaches. Woody Smothers takes over for Pete Bush as the Blue Devils’ head coach. The rivalry is the second longest among Walker County schools (Parrish-Cordova is the longest).
This year’s meeting marks the 75th game between the teams. Cordova leads the series 42-31-1.
Dora opens region play the following week at defending region champ Fayette County, which is also under a new coach following the retirement of longtime coach Waldon Tucker. His son, Lance Tucker, will be the coach this season.
Following the trip to Fayette County, the Bulldogs host Haleyville before traveling to Tarrant and Curry. Dora hosts a pair of key region games the next two weeks: Corner in Week 6 and Oak Grove in Week 7.
Dora’s last two region opponents — Midfield and Good Hope — combined for just three wins last season.
The Bulldogs close the season with a trip to Walker. Dora has lost the last four meetings to the Vikings by a combined score of 218-28.
Dora leaves Walker County just three times this season. Along with five home games, Dora plays at Curry and at Walker.
This year’s schedule: Aug. 25 (Thur.)-Cordova; Sept. 2-at Fayette County; Sept. 9-Haleyville; Sept. 16-at Tarrant; Sept. 23-at Curry; Sept. 30-Corner; Oct. 7-Oak Grove; Oct. 14-at Midfield; Oct. 21-Good Hope; Oct. 27 (Thur.)-at Walker