QUEEN CITY, Texas – First-year head coach Mike Baysinger picks his words cautiously when talking about the 2018 Queen City football season.
Baysinger moved back to Texas last February to take over the Bulldogs’ struggling program. Despite inheriting a team returning 14 starters from 2017, the new campaign will be a rebuilding year.
“It’s going to be a rebuilding situation; I think we’ve got one returning offensive lineman,” Baysinger said. “The number of returning starters could be a little deceiving, we’ll have to wait and see. We’ve got some kids who can be pretty good. Every position was open going into August. Everyone will have to earn his spot. I feel good about our offense, but don’t know much about the defense, yet.”
On paper the Bulldogs have nine starters back on offense. However, Queen City will be operating from a different offense this fall.
Baysinger’s staff is changing from the flexbone to a two-back spread, and the Bulldogs could be throwing the ball a lot.
“I may not have a good feel until we’ve played somebody besides ourselves,” said Baysinger, defensive coordinator at Liberty-Eylau two years ago, and head coach in Smackover, Ark., in 2017. “We’ll see how the kids adapt and adjust to things. We’re going to do a lot of throwing and catching early. Once we get that down I think we’re going to be pretty good offensively. On defense we’ll play a four-man front with three linebackers. We don’t have a lot of size in either line, and we’re also very young.”
Queen City started fast last season, but didn’t win a district game. It will be difficult for the Bulldogs to repeat last year’s start, but certainly not impossible.
Baysinger is still selling his ideas to his players. Most appear to have bought end during summer work, which pleased the coaching staff. The numbers were good, but Baysinger said he wants to see even more kids participating next summer.
Players expected to contribute for the Bulldogs include quarterback Dylan Scott, and running back Isaiah Stiger. Terunte Neal, Kemya Hicks and Colton Davis are other candidates to be toting the ball. Neal and Davis also played linebacker in 2017, while Hicks and Scott doubled up in the secondary with Hunter Farrington and Stiger. Kody Nichols should get playing time in the lines.
The Bulldogs also had two new coordinators with Patrick House on defense, and Matt Johnson on offense.