Spirits were near an all-time high Friday night at the Royse City ISD football stadium, as the undefeated Bulldogs took on the Waco-Connally Cadets, a non-district opponent and the 5th game of the season, including two pre-season scrimmages.
The Bulldogs haven’t posted a winning season since 2008, when they won 7 and lost 3.
This year, however, things may be looking up for the team.
With three non-district wins under their collective belt, and nearly all of them won handily, the team’s prospects for the 2017 season seem much better than in recent years, and the fans’ optimism is palpable in the stadium, packed from end to end.
Kelly Liptrap, mother of senior right tackle Hunter Green, knows the story all too well.
“We’ve been here through those bad seasons” she said.
“I’m hoping for a great season,” she added, “especially since it’s (her son’s) senior year, but some of the bigger team’s we’ve played in the past, like Highland Park, will still be tough.”
“I think other schools in the district (15-5A) always assume that we’re the ‘small’ team, but we’ve grown a lot in the last couple of years and it’s nice to see that showing on the field.”
Other fans, however, while still optimistic and supportive, are a bit more cautious.
Returning alumni Devante Alexander, Patrick Perry, and Jimmy Ivy, all of the class of 2015 and the former two having played on the team in high school, were careful not to overstate their optimism for the rest of the season.
“I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it!” said Perry, a former outside linebacker.
“They’re looking good so far, but this has happened before and then the rest of the season is pretty bad” he added.
Alexander, fomer wide receiver and tight-end, agreed.
“It seems like there’s a lot of talent on the team, but they haven’t played anybody really hard yet, so we’ll see how they can play together then.”
Ivy’s optimism looked a little farther in the future than just this season.
“The team seems pretty young,” he added, “so even if this season doesn’t work out, I think they’ll have a few years to get better and do really well.”
In all, it’s a refreshing and welcome change for the team to be doing well this early. The fans are as supportive as they’ve always been, but for the first time in a long time, it seems their team pride can also include the team’s performance.
The Royse City Bulldogs take on the West Mesquite Wranglers at home Friday at 7:30 P.M.