El Dorado’s football team makes its debut at the new BG Products Veterans Sports Complex against Clearwater in the second week of the season. The Wildcats hope the new surroundings can be accompanied by some more success after a 1-8 record in 2011.
“We’re excited about the new stadium – very excited,” Wildcats coach Dustin Dooley said.
El Dorado returns eight starters on offense and 10 on defense, led by senior halfback Tyson Jones, the Wildcats’ leading rusher a year ago, who gained 402 yards.
Junior quarterback Travis House, who passed for 1,397 yards as a sophomore, also returns, as do his top wide receivers, seniors Trevor Crain (57 catches, 729 yards, three touchdowns) and Austin Hughey (15 catches, 194 yards).
“We’ll be better,” Dooley said. “We’ll be a little bit older, more experienced.”
He said his primary focus will be for the Wildcats to make gradual improvement.
“We feel that if we make the same type of progress we made last season, we’ll be successful,” Dooley said. “In 2010, El Dorado averaged one point a game; we averaged 16 last year. In 2010, we averaged 53 points (allowed), we lowered that last year. We were in a couple of games that we thought had the ball bounced differently, we would have won.”
El Dorado beat Augusta 33-28 in its only victory, but the Orioles aren’t on the schedule this season after moving down on the fourth division of the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League. El Dorado remains in Division III and has to face a new opponent, McPherson on opening night.