by Johnathan Bentley
Story courtesy of The Daily Mountain Eagle
DORA — Johnny Wright's first tenure at Dora led to the some of the most successful years in the history of Bulldogs' football program.
Wright's hoping for that same kind of success as he begins his second tenure as head coach for the 2012 football season.
"I look forward to having the opportunity to work with these kids. When I first came here, the kids were hungry. They wanted to be part of something positive. These kids got that last year. That probably puts them a year ahead of where we were when I first got here. That's a good thing," Wright said.
Dora had its first winning season since 2006 last year, going 9-3 and advancing to the second round of the state playoffs.
"I think they've had one winning season since we left and that was last year," Wright said. "We are going to try to build on that and keep it going."
Dora may have lost All-State running back Cody Staten from last year's playoff team, but the Bulldogs return elusive quarterback Caleb May, who totaled 21 touchdowns. May averaged 7.5 yards per attempt on the ground in 2011, rushing 137 times for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also threw for 493 yards and another 10 touchdowns.
Wright said the offense will run through the 5-8, 150-pound senior.
"We're expecting a lot out of Caleb. He can run and he's very fast," Wright said. "The key on offense is Caleb. We will go as Caleb goes. This is a different offense for him. He's going to have to take control of the offense."
Dora will run a Wing-T offense, but said there will be some elements of the spread offense in the mix as well.
"(The Wing-T) worked pretty well when I was here before. I think it will be better for us with the linemen we've got. I feel good about it," he added.
The Bulldogs, who also return 20 seniors, will use Cade Stone and DeAngelo Pendleton as receivers, DeMarcus Kirk at fullback and Kai Thomas at tailback. Stonie Phillips will be used out of the backfield as well.
"We've got four wideouts who can play with anybody. We've also got plenty of speed at our skill positions," Wright said.
While speed is a strength, one of Dora's weaknesses is depth.
"Our biggest job early in the season is finding a way to rest players. It's hard for guys to play both ways early in the season. Maybe by game 5 or 6, but not right away. We will try to get guys breaks a series here and a series there," he added.
"Our depth isn't great. It is what it is. We've got 47 players and I think most of them will contribute in one way or another. I'd like to have numbers in the 50s," Wright said. "We've got a lot of seniors and we're going to play a lot of seniors, but a lot of our backups are young kids. We will play one or two ninth graders."
Along with having a new head coach, Dora's football staff has been revamped.
Along with head coach Dusty Goode, assistant coaches Pete Bush (defensive coordinator at Parrish) and Heath Saint (head coach at West Morgan) are gone.
This season, George Banks (who served as Dora's defensive coordinator during Wright's first tenure as head coach) returns. Steven Moore, who played at Winston County before going to the University of Alabama, is the quarterbacks coach and Jonathan Morrison is the receivers/defensive backs coach, Greg Gober coaches backs and linebackers. Returning assistant coaches include: Eric Tolbert (defensive tackles/offensive line), Hezzie Morgan (defensive ends/tight ends), Michael Bridges (JV head coach) and Brett Andrews (JV assistant coach).
Last season, all three of Dora's losses, including region losses to Fayette County and Midfield, came by seven points or less.