The Virgin Valley High School football team hopes to reverse last year’s 49-26 drubbing at the hands of Clark High in its season opener in the Dawg Pound on Friday, Aug. 17.

New Bulldog coach Matt Woods debut will be closely watched by the Bulldog faithful.

After a long tenure as an assistant, Woods gets the opportunity to lead his hometown Dawgs in their quest for another 3A Sunrise League championship. The Bulldogs will need to reload as most of last year’s team is gone.

Fortunately, Clark’s leaders from last year’s squad have also graduated. The Chargers picked the Dawgs defense to pieces with 277 yards to 37 for the Dawgs through their air-game. The Dawgs trailed big early and could not recover. Clark, a member of the 4A Southwest League managed only a 2-6 record last season and may again may be in for a rough season.

The Dawgs meanwhile finished with a 7-4 record and their road to repeat was made easier with the departed Chaparral and Mojave squads who moved up to 4A.

The Bulldogs began official practice on Aug. 1 but have been working out in the gym for the past two months.

“We are in great condition going into our first game despite being in pads for only five days prior to our first game,” Woods said. “We are young with only one starter from last year’s squad. Our line has some size but our backs will be small but tough.

“We need to pound the ball to give our two-way players the opportunity to rest. We will pass when needed, but we hope to control the ball with our running attack. Our lines will be our strength which will give running backs Wyatt Delano and Tanner Fielding an opportunity to break free.

“Mebs (Hollingshead) will lead the offense from his quarterback spot. Tuau Fiso, Jeremy Perkins and Luis Perez will anchor the line both ways. Returnee Vincente Pinto will be counted on as a safety and receiver. Rudy Cannon, despite his size will be operating as a linebacker and receiver.”

The Bulldogs expect a good turnout for Fridays night’s game as school will be in full session.