WILSON, N.C. (WNCN) – The Barton Bulldogs push through the heat at their Thursday practice.
It’s season two for a program that had been dormant for 70 years.
The Bulldogs played a scaled-back spring campaign, getting in just four games a few months ago, a free season for the players.
Now, a year older, and with a season under its belt, more will be expected of this fledgling program.
“We want expectations high, we set the bar high for ourselves,” said Barton head coach Chip Hester. “I think our guys are embracing that and I think they’ve got a taste of the challenge of the league we’re playing against. I think they’re eager to meet that challenge and see how they compare.”
The Bulldogs know there will be growing pains as Barton competes against more established programs.
In fact for some players, that was a big selling point on their decision to become a Bulldog in the first place.
“Knowing this being a first-year program and being a part of something new and being able to put us on the map was a big starter for me to come here,” explained freshman quarterback Jaquan Lynch.
Last season’s progress was not measured in wins and losses but instead, the focus was on getting better every day.
This season may be more of the same for the Bulldogs but if the end of last year is any indication, wins may not be far away.
“We were a lot better at the end of the season as we were at the begin,” Hester pointed out. “What we want to do is not regress but keep on going from there. The challenge is not to be satisfied with that.”
For a team filled with first and second-year players, satisfaction will come in building a program this Down East community can be proud of.