Freeport football team into first week of fall practice

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:42 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Freeport Bulldogs are now halfway throughs the first week of fall practice. And the numbers seem pretty good. Coach Steve Arntz leading the Bulldogs for a 5th season now. The team coming off a 5-4 season, that included a playoff win. They lose just a handful of seniors, and return the starting quarterback in Ashton Nunes, who threw for nearly two-thousand yards as a freshman. The Bulldogs in fact saw a lot of playing time from underclassmen like that. And coach Arntz seeing another wave of youngsters coming into the program in the off season. He says they are 60 strong for both the varsity and JV. Very good numbers for a 1A program!

“They’re showing up, again that’s a positive.” coach Arntz told us. “You can’t do anything with them if they’re not here. So they are showing up, they have good attitudes. I think they’re a little behind. I think the pandemic particularly hurt the middle-school aged kids more than it did the high school aged kids. We’re definitely seeing that now. But again they keep showing up, keep coming in with good attitude, good work ethic. The sky’s the limit.”

And talking about numbers, well the coach is concerned about other numbers, namely grades for the players in their drills during practice.

“Just to compete every day, don’t come in thinking we need check marks.” says Arntz. “We need numbers, we need 95 or above. A plus or above. So not just to come in and try to check it off. So we want to compete every day, not just come in to complete the task.”

Coach Arntz went on to say this is such a different vibe from last August, when the players weren’t coming off a good spring, a good summer workout season. That time was a loss for the players, but for the coaches, well not a total loss.

“Well it was good, it gave us a reset button as coaches. We got to step back and look at the way we were doing things, and say you know if we feel like we were in too much of a routine or a habit, now is the right time to make that change. That was a big positive out of that and I feel like we’ve done a lot of that in our program.”

The Bulldogs will host Walton in a Kickoff Classic on the 20th, then open the regular season on the 27th at home against Bozeman.

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