NW Iowa ‘Dogs ready for season to start
The Northwest Iowa Bulldogs, based in Aurelia, are back for another season of semi-professional football. This season will see a handful of changes for the Bulldogs as they are in a new league with more teams and see a rival move a little closer.
The ‘Dogs left their old league due to not seeing too much potential growth with four other teams. They joined the Midwest Football League which sees quite a few more teams. It’s set up more like the National Football League with two conferences and two divisions within each conference. The Bulldogs share a division with the North Iowa Knights, Capital City Command and the Midwest Mustangs. They will play each other twice this season with a handful of non-division games to complete their 10 game slate.
The playoffs are set with the top two teams in each division playing one another, and then playing the winner of the other division within the conference. The two conference champions will then play each other on August 18, but could be moved up a week if there are no games to make up.
The Knights have inched closer to Aurelia this season, now setting up operations in Early, something that Bulldog Clint Corderman noticed.
“We’ve always had a rivalry with them. We’re fighting over more players now but we’re sitting higher on the scale with wins and losses,” he said.
The Bulldogs are an old school smash mouth style of team that will run the ball down your throat. A majority of the offense line comes back as does their quarterback and running back from last season. Corderman stated they have a bit more speed on the outside this season so the passing game could come more into play, but the bread and butter will be hitting opposing defenses right in the mush with the ground game.
“Speed is good but it doesn’t mean much without good line play. We want to make defensive linemen and linebackers pay,” Corderman said.
The defense sees a handful of newcomers in the linebacker and secondary groups, but there are high hopes they can continue to live up to the lofty defensive standard of seasons past. The special teams is a big point of emphasis for the Bulldogs, and they do things a little different.
Instead of having linemen up front when they punt, they will put speedier players up front and the big guys in the back in order to cover the punts more effectively. The placekicking duties will be held down by Gabe Fuller who hit a 35 yard attempt last year and “had a lot more room left to go.”
“We want to continued to do what we do. Play sound football. With our lines, our core guys, we’re gonna be pounding on people,” Corderman said. “After half, they don’t want to hit us. It’s what we’re known for, smash mouth football. We’re gonna hit you.”
The Northwest Iowa Bulldogs open their season this weekend at home against the North Iowa Knights. On May 19 they will be on the road at the Midwest Mustangs and have a bye on the 26 for the Memorial Day Weekend. The remaining home games are June 16, June 23, July 14 and July 21.
Tickets for adults are $7, $5 for high school through grade school and kids under six or so are free.