Royse City coach David Petroff has a word with an official during one of the Bulldogs' 2017 games.

The Royse City Bulldogs finished in sixth place in District 15-5A and ended the season with a 4-6 overall record.

Despite a losing record in district play, the team showed promise for the future and improved by winning one game more than last year.

Royse City scored 254 total points this season, which is an upgrade from last season’s 144 points with two shutouts. 

“We were more competitive and played hard all the way until the end,” Bulldog head coach David Petroff said. “A lot of the young guys stepped up and helped us at times.”

Royse City started the season off on a high note and won all three of its non-district contests against North Garland, South Garland and Waco Connally. While the team stayed competitive in most games against district opponents, winning in District 15-5A has proven to be a tall task. 

“From top to bottom I feel like our district is one of the toughest in the state,” Petroff said. “Some districts are a little top heavy but in ours it was like anyone could beat anyone on any given night.” 

Highland Park, Lucas Lovejoy and North Forney finished at the top of the district.

Highland Park, the defending 5A state champion, is still in the running for the title this season.

Just 11 total points separated the Bulldogs from wins over Forney and Lovejoy, and which could have possibly led to a playoff berth. 

After re-districting new opponents during the off-season, however, Royse City will hopefully have more opportunities for on the field success.

Highland Park, West Mesquite, Mesquite Poteet and Wylie East are all expected to move up and change districts.

As for Royse City, it will be affected by district changes, but it’s still unknown exactly how and which district the Bulldogs will land in before the 2018 season begins.

Royse City finished with 2,232 rushing yards with the help of senior transfer Dre Prox, who accounted for 970 of those yards.

Sophomore Bryce Martinez helped the ground game and totaled 790 yards for this season.

Sophomore Elijah Yelverton led the Bulldogs in receiving yards with 342 of the 857 total team yards.

Next season, Royse City will be without a few of its key players on both offense and defense such as seniors Prox, Zion Leach, Walter Porter, Zhe Brown and Kris Jones.

However, many young Bulldogs stepped up this year and proved that they will be ready to help lead Royse City next year.

“They’re a tough group of kids who’ve had success all the way up starting in middle school,” Petroff said. “I was really pleased with them.”

Sophomore receivers Payton Petroff and Elijah Yelverton, junior quarterback Matthew Yelverton, sophomore running back Martinez, and junior defensive backs Roderick Roberson and Koby Cooper all return next season.

“Some games it was their first time playing in that type of atmosphere and they got a little nervous. But we got a lot of that out and we’ll be better for it in the long run.” Petroff said.