Sr. Bulldogs eager to start season against rival Essex Thursday night

By Joel Charron

After being hyped all summer, the General Amherst Bulldogs senior football team is eager to live up to what’s expected of them.

The Bulldogs kick off the 2011 season Thursday night against long-time rival the Essex Red Raiders at Essex.

The last time the Bulldogs were on that field, they were celebrating a game winning field goal that propelled them into the Wilson Conference Finals.

“I’m pretty pumped up for it,” said quarterback Mike Mallender. “When ever we play Essex it’s always a really good game.”

According to the Grade 12 pivot, there is no other team that the Bulldogs would want to start the season against.

“I wouldn’t want to start the season against anyone else,” said Mallender. “I know a lot of kids out in Essex. Every time we play these guys in turns out to be a classic.”

Essex is ranked number one in the Wilson Conference by WECSSAA Football Tipster, Amherst is ranked third.

Amherst tight end, Mitch Girard feels the Bulldogs are being overlooked, something that doesn’t sit well with the team.

“A few of the guys were saying they can’t believe that we are ranked third,” said Girard. “We want to get on the field on Thursday and prove to everyone that we are better than a third seed in the league.”

“We feel that no one knows what’s going on here. They don’t know we have all these returning players and all this experience,” he continued. “I think everyone is in for a surprise.”

The Bulldogs got the opportunity to get on the field this past weekend, as the team travel to the state for an exhibition match against Divine Child.

The Bulldogs lost 44-13, however According to Girard the lost was good for the team.

“We knew it was going to be a little shaky going in because we have only been practicing for a few weeks but it’s good for us to have a lost like that to keep us down to earth,” explained Girard.

The season opener will be held in Essex. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m.

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