Media Day: Davenport Bulldogs

Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:43 pm
By: News On 6

Originally Published: Aug 22, 2010 12:48 PM CDT

Dave Carty
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It’s the task no coach envies, but it’s a necessary one.

The Davenport Bulldogs -- they of a mighty 10-2 record a season ago -- will be tasked with replacing two key offensive cogs, tailback Tyler Phillips and offensive lineman Dylan Gray.

Phillips totaled 2,400 yards a season ago as a true catalyst for the Davenport offense, but, if you ask head coach John Greenfield, Gray will be the truly difficult player to replace.

“Dylan will probably be the hardest position to fill being in the line,” said Greenfield at and Oklahoma Sports First Look Media Day. “It’s always hard to really good linemen.”

But, as always, Davenport has plenty of talent rolling through the pipeline ready to make an impact. Mike Miller, who missed the final seven games of the season and the playoffs due to injury, will step in as the primary tailback. His brother Matthew Miller inherits quarterbacking duties.

While the transition will be tough for some, the team is plenty ready to lend a helping hand.

“I think we’re going to be OK,” said Greenfield. “Everybody’s going to be a year older to help pick up the slack.

“We’re more concerned about our defense. We’ve always been productive offensively. We just got to shore up our defense. That seems to be our shortcoming almost each year.”

That defense will switch from a 3-1 to a 3-2. Both Millers will factor into the defense, as will Hayden Funk -- one of five returning defensive starters.

Sophomore Kevin Thomas is one of several newcomers who will have an immediate role on the team.

Davenport will need that immediate help in order to battle the likes of District B-1 in the postseason, which the Bulldogs expect to reach.

“We should make the playoffs and we’ll be playing B-1 off the bat,” said Greenfield.

No matter how tough a challenge is posed by the likes of Pond Creek-Hunter, Garber and Laverne -- which has eliminated the Bulldogs from the postseason in back-to-back years -- Davenport’s goal is unchanged.

“Every year our goal is to win the state championship,” said Greenfield. “We figure if we can win [District B-2], then we’ll go against the mighty B-1.”