IOLA, TX -- A team considered young a year ago returns this time around with a bevy of returning talent and the drive to get the Bulldog football program back on track. Six starters return on offense, eight return on defense, and nine of the 14 are seniors.
The defense is led by linebacker Bobby Pointer, who is one of three linebackers returning. Three starters return in the secondary, and two are back on the line. The Bulldogs will have to replace Bryan Bradford at quarterback, but the new QB will have plenty of talent to work with.
Two starters return on the line, one in the backfield, two at receiver, and big tight end Tyson Tindol. John Kay earned all-district honors at running back last season and is poised for an even better 2012.
Iola shifts to a district centered mostly in east Texas, and they will have two long road trips: 130 miles to West Hardin and 134 to Hull-Daisetta. On paper West Hardin (8-3 in 2011) is the district favorite entering 2012, but the Bulldogs will be a contender. Iola beat Hull-Daisetta (4-6 in 2011) last season and Colmesneil (2-8 in 2011) is coming off a losing year.
Having to play two of three district games on the road will be a challenge, but if the Iola senior class can put it together the Bulldogs should return to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
9/7 @ Bartlett
9/14 @ Milano
9/28 @ St. Joseph
10/12 @ Bremond
10/18 @ College Station JV
10/26 @ Hull-Daisetta
11/9 @ West Hardin