The ongoing effects of COVID-19 have not spared the Bettendorf football team. The lack of pre-season and no summer lifting left the team further behind than they would have liked.
Luckily, this wasn’t just for the Bulldogs. It was stop and go for every team in the state.
“No other team got to lift so it was kind of an even playing field,” said senior Oliver Bakeris.
To add another hurdle, the Bulldogs also had to battle with losing a large portion of leadership from the past season. With 23 graduating seniors last season, the team knew there were big shoes to fill.
“We’re still trying to build up the leadership we lost and trying to fill key roles that the seniors left behind,” junior Diego Cortes said.
To increase the uncertainty, the Bulldogs have just begun to identify key positions on the field, particularly at quarterback.
The Bulldogs started the season with junior Tynan Numkena at quarterback. After a disappointing loss, the coaching staff made the decision to return Numkena to
his primary position as wide receiver.
Since then, senior Zach Garton has stepped in to take up the mantle, and, with help from his teammates, has executed three wins, including an impressive performance against Muscatine.
The Bulldogs have made it clear that they will not let these setbacks deter them as they head into their final week with a winning record of 3-2.
With the postseason on the horizon, the team is said to be focusing on third down conversions and limiting big plays.
Even with numerous concerns, something the team hasn’t had to worry about is energy.
“Everyone has more energy this year because we are grateful to play,” Bakeris said.
The Bulldogs plan to carry this energy into their final regular season showing against Davenport West and into the postseason.