2018 OUTLOOK: The Burnet Bulldogs are practicing with intensity.
In 2017, Burnet missed the playoffs for the first time since 2011. Head coach Kurt Jones used the offseason to evaluate the program and make changes, which led to the crisp workouts during fall training camp.
The players spent more time on the field working on techniques and basics. Coaches corrected small things such as footwork and placement of hands as well as the bigger issues of movement and reading what the opponent is doing and adjusting quickly.
Burnet will have a new starting quarterback, sophomore Jaxson Denton, who is known for his ability to extend plays with his legs. Denton is unafraid to hit as evidenced when he served as the lead blocker to spring teammate Devonte Miller loose for a big gain during a scrimmage. That commitment to the play fired up the offense.
Miller, Alexander, and the other running backs are in sync with the offensive line. The linemen look stronger and faster, which should give the offense plenty of options for advancing the ball.
Burkhalter, Kiser, and the other receivers have the same traits of past Burnet greats: natural speed, great hands, and a knack for getting open and making impossible catches.
Defensively, Jones has made it known he is looking for improvement. Last year, the Bulldogs gave up 50 points in four different contests. The team is making strides, and Jones has witnessed bright spots during training camp, noting the players have made textbook tackles after quickly locating the ball carrier. Jones believes the players are more comfortable in the second year of defensive coordinator Casey Carr’s system. In short, the Bulldogs are more explosive at the point of attack, shed blocks better, and swarm to the football. That’s the type of defensive intensity Jones, who spent years as a defensive coach and coordinator, wants to see every play.
If the Bulldogs are to return to the playoffs, they’ll have get past some familiar foes. Liberty Hill is the district favorite followed by Canyon Lake, Fredericksburg, and Taylor. The good news is Burnet is very familiar with each opponent because the Bulldogs have played each in pre-district or district the past few years.
Next Gamevs. Liberty Hill on Oct. 26
All games kick off at 7:30 p.m. Friday unless otherwise noted.
Aug. 31 vs. Wimberley, 31-25 loss
Sept. 7 at Marble Falls, 34-14 loss
Sept. 14 at Lockhart, 23-21 loss
Sept. 21 at Manor New Tech, 42-0 win
Sept. 28 vs. Sonora, 41-20 win
Oct. 5 OPEN
Oct. 12 vs. Lampasas, 56-7 loss
Oct. 19 at Canyon Lake, 43-0 loss
Oct. 26 vs. Liberty Hill
Nov. 2 at Fredericksburg
Nov. 9 vs. Taylor