BURKBURNETT, Texas (TNN) - The Blitz on six preseason previews moves to division one of class 4A with the Burkburnett Bulldogs.
After struggling in district last season, the Bulldogs have some turnover this year, except at the quarterback position where Mason Duke will try to build off last year’s success.
“He’s been extremely comfortable from the get-go," Burkburnett head coach Jason Meng said. "I think he has a better command of the playbook, what we are putting on; we are starting to put on new stuff left and right and he is starting to pick it up quicker. Just seems like he feels like he belongs in that position.”
Last season, Duke was fourth in Texoma in passing yards with with more 2,700; his 30 touchdowns was second best in the area.
He also ran for more than 700 yards and seven scores.
Now in his second year as the teams signal-caller, he says the mental aspect of the role is coming easier.
“Our quarterback coach last year, coach Smoker, he really helped me out with that," Burkburnett junior QB Mason Duke said. "He sat me down and helped me go through the progressions the right way and kind of talked to me and kept me mentally right.”
The Bulldogs hope he can continue to grow in the position, not just to help the offense but to help the defense.
After giving up an average 51 points a game in district last year, the Bulldogs have a few new players stepping in and they know how beneficial their reps against an all-district quarterback can be.
“He’s one of the best quarterbacks in the district, if not the best quarterback in the district right now," Burkburnett senior safety Jake McClesky said. "So going up against that every day, it just prepares us for what we are going to see Friday.”
“Especially the young kids, it’s great because they are getting the best we have to offer," coach Meng said. "They are getting an all-district quarterback, an all-district corner that will play receiver, they are getting kids that been there, played in the fire and played against competition before.”
In the first year of former Rider Raider Markelle Martin taking over the defense at Burkburnett, the Bulldogs will take a new approach to their defensive strategy.
“Coach Martin has made a lot of changes," Duke said. "He has made the defensive scheme fit around the players instead of making us fit around the defensive scheme so they are doing a lot better, they are holding their own.”
Last year the injury bug hit the Bulldogs hard and coach Meng says creating depth will help if that happens again.
But McClesky says its the leadership from the older players that will carry them to their goals.
“It’s just important for us to stay calm, even when things are going back and lead by example, instead of talking," McClesky said.
Week 1: F 8/30 vs Venus 7:30pm
Week 2: F 9/6 vs. Lawton High 7:30pm
Week 3: F 9/13 vs Iowa Park 7:30pm
Week 4: F 9/20 @ Old High 7:30pm
Week 5: F 9/27 vs Vernon 7:30pm
Week 6: BYE
Week 7: F 10/11 @ Gainesville 7pm
Week 8: F 10/18 vs Mineral Wells 7pm
Week 9: F 10/25 @ Hirschi 7pm
Week 10: F 11/1 vs Decatur 7pm
Week 11: F 11/8 @ Springtown 7pm