SOMERSET, Texas. – Coach Sonny Detmer and his Bulldogs are looking to stay alive after moving up to District 15-5A and losing 37 seniors, including star quarterback Zadock Dinkleman.
"It's a tough district. It's one of the toughest in South Texas," Detmer said.
The team understands this is a rebuilding year for them, but senior linebacker Francis Sanchez is confident in the new 5A district.
"We're just going to have to help the newcomers, be a leader and show them the way," Sanchez said.
But as for the 6-foot linebacker's personal goals, he said he's going to "ball out" his senior year.
"The bar is set high to me. I want to make playoffs, I know everybody else is afraid, but I know my defense and I are going to take control of what we can control and go from there," Sanchez said.
Dave Campbell's Texas Football does not project the Bulldogs to make the playoffs in their new district among opponents such as Corpus Calallen ISD, Gregory-Portland ISD and Port Lavaca Calhoun ISD.
"We've got a lot of unknowns. We don't know about all the schools in the South, " Detmer said. "We know that they're good."
Not making the playoffs would be new for the Bulldogs, since they've won their 4A district the last four seasons.
Two new coaches are joining the staff this year, both former Bulldogs themselves. Jordan Sims, who started at Texas Lutheran University as a defensive back for three years, and Jacob Hillyer, who was a wide receiver at the University of Iowa.
"It's a thrill having them back. They have a lot of enthusiasm, and it will be a big boost for our kids this year," Detmer said.
"I see them working out with us already, which is a good sign. They're here to win, and that's all I want to know," Sanchez said about his new coaches.
Overall, Detmer knows his players will give everything they have this season.
"They have a lot of hearts, these kids," he said.
Sommerset begins its season at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23, where the team will go head-to-head against the Boerne Greyhounds.