Not only has the Freeport Bulldogs football team had a little bump in the number of players, they had a little increase in poundage as well.
"We've got about 10 more kids than we've had before," said Freeport Coach Jim Anderson. "We've got 44 altogether … so we're really happy about that."
In addition to the larger numbers, the size of the players on the offensive line has beefed up as well.
"We've got some good size, some bigger boys," Anderson said. The Bulldogs have about 10 varsity offensive lineman, so there will be some "good competition" to fill the five slots.
The players range from 170- to 250- pounds.
"The guys that aren't really big have a lot of experience, and the big guys don't have as much experience, but they've got good size and strength."
But more than numbers or size, Coach Anderson says the players are "working hard and have great attitudes."
"The attitude and effort is great," he said. "What we try to do is, do our very best at things we can control. We can control our conditioning."
Anderson likes to refer the old saying, "It doesn't take talent to hustle and be on time."
"Our guys have some good talent, but most of the teams we play have more kids and more talent. But our kids know if they work really hard and have a good attitude, that we can increase our chances at being competitive and at a victory," Anderson said.
Right now the Bulldogs really don't have any standouts, Anderson said, but all are working hard and doing a good job.
As for speed, Anderson says the Bulldogs have "general speed."
Players that will be rotating in and out of the backfield are David Godwin, Chase Caswell, Skyler Gillies and Dalton Raymond.
Starting at quarterback is sophomore Dillon Bates. "He has shown more maturity and improvement than any quarterback we've ever had going into the 10th grade," Anderson said. "Over the summer he did a good job and got a lot better."
On the receiving end at wide receiver will be Morgan Hardee, Bernard Turko, Matthew Blair and Tyler Head. Head will also play some tight end, running back and backup to Bates at quarterback. Caswell will also backup Bates.
Kyle Collinsworth and William Morrison both will see some time at fullback and tight end.
As for defense, Anderson said they are "doing a fine job and Coach Arntz is working them hard."
"We've just got a good group," Anderson said.
Nevertheless he added, "We still got to keep working hard. We've got some speed but not great. Got some strength, but not great."
The Bulldogs will get a chance to show what they do have in their first regular season game at 7 p.m., Aug. 30 at home against the Cottondale Hornets.