Bulldogs focused on a new era without Sherry and Posey


East Palestine is without their top offensive stars from the past four years

EAST PALESTINE, OHIO (WKBN) – It’s a new era in East Palestine Bulldog football.  Gone are two of perhaps the most dynamic athletes in school history in Parker Sherry and Dominic Posey.  Combined they provided a lot of the offensive punch that the Dogs enjoyed over the previous four years, helping propel the Bulldogs to capture league crowns in 2015 (ITCL) and in 2017 (EOAC), qualifying for the OHSAA playoffs in the process in both of those seasons.

With both of those players now participating in college football.  The Bulldogs will need to regroup as they prepare for a roughed non-conference and league schedule ahead of them.

“We have a group that gets along really well,” Bulldogs head coach Tony Foster remarked.  “We still could use some things to bring us together even tighter as a team, because we are always looking for those things to get to the point that we really want to be.  But it’s a matter of that they are going to have to play team football.  It has to be selfless; it’s got to be that whoever is making plays is going to have to go out and produce, and make the most plays that they can.”

Taking over the signal-calling duties this year for the Bulldogs is senior Dominick Cathers.  Cathers has switched from playing the receiver position last year, and is fully aware of the big shoes he has to fill.

“I mean yeah, I feel a little pressure, everybody is going to feel pressure in football.  But not as much as maybe everybody would think that I would be.  I just have to go out and have some fun,” Cathers remarked.

Sherry and Posey could score almost any time they touched the ball, but this year, that player or players has not jumped forward yet for the Bulldogs, “It’s hard to tell.  I have a few guys who have a little bit of speed with (Dominick) Cathers, (Dan) Bender, and (Tyler) Bistakey, so hopefully we can get them into situations where they can showcase their athletic ability and make some long plays,” Foster explained.

“We have a lot of people that have to step up.  There are a lot of people doing things that they wouldn’t normally do, like people playing multiple positions.  Switching around time after time,” Cathers added.

On Defense, the Bulldogs also need to adjust to a number of graduations, “We have some new guys all over the place.  Today we had a nice test to see where we are at and we have some guys on film who are jockeying for positions and like I told them ‘Some of you have had your stock go up, and some of you weren’t so good’.  But I see some things that we can work on and build on too.  We’ll get there,” Foster said with a grin.

“We have a different look on defense this year.  We are doing things different this year that I think will help us do pretty good.  We have some young corners, but I feel like they will step up and do the job,” Cathers said.

“My take away right now is that we need to consistency improve,” Foster said.  “We make some strides and then we will come in the next day and it’s like we are back to square one.  We need to retain more of the tools that we are giving them to use to be successful.  They need to go out and use them on a consistent basis.  They need to really start to show those things on the field.”

“I’m looking for small goals of sustained improvement in each practice.  Getting better and better each week,” Foster concluded.

“We may not be the favorites in the league this year, but we are going to try to make a run at it, try to do some damage.  We’re going to see what we can do,” Cathers added about the Bulldogs chances in the EOAC this season.

The Bulldogs kick the season off on Friday August 30th when they host the defending DIV state runner-up’s in the Girard Indians.  They begin league play on September 20th when they travel to Lisbon.

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