Hometown Heroes: Iola Bulldogs

By: KBTX Sports
By: KBTX Sports
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8/29 Somerville
9/5 Marble Falls Faith
9/12 @ Anderson-Shiro
9/19 Milano
9/26 Thrall
10/3 OPEN
10/10 @ Evadale*
10/17 Sabine Pass*
10/24 @ Burkeville*
10/31 @ Colmesneil*
11/7 Normangee*
* - District Game

IOLA, Texas -- Iola has the returning talent to not only return the postseason, but stay there a while.

The Bulldogs have eight starters back on offense and nine returning on defense. Quarterback Hayden Martinez, the reigning district offensive MVP, leads a shotgun spread offense that looks to be more consistent in 2014 after having some ups and downs a year ago. Martinez is good through the air and on the ground, and could break the Iola school record for career rushing yardage this season. His best target through the air is tight end Ryan Renick, the leading receiver from a year ago. Four starters return on the line, led by seniors Reed Fairbanks, Will Mallett, and Dustin Timm.

Renick is the leading returning tackler and the “QB” of the Bulldogs 4-2-5 defense. “He has the potential to excel at the next level and is like having a coach on the field,” said second-year head coach Pete Martinez.

Realignment renaming aside, Iola actually moves down a level to the smaller of the smallest 11-man football playing classifications in the state. The Bulldogs final two games of the season at Colmesneil and at home against rival Normangee should decide the district title, but Iola will be playoff bound whether or not they win 12-2A Division II. “We will be a stronger team with more depth and more experience,” said Martinez.

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