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Prep Football Preview: Calexico Bulldogs

(KYMA, KECY) - No excuses and higher expectations are the coveted phrases for the Calexico Bulldogs football program heading into the 2021 fall season, as they aim to rebuild a new culture.

After struggling in recent years, the goal for Calexico this season is to remain competitive with the powers of the Imperial Valley. Teams such as Central, Imperial, Brawley and more.

Head Coach Fernando Solano mentioning that it will be important to test those teams and they will be able to measure how far they have come when they play them.

In order to hang on competitively, this team will have to rely on a lot of underclassmen to step up into bigger roles with only a select few returning seniors stepping onto the field. It is a very young team that got a lot of experience in the shortened season in the spring.

A few returning starters to keep an eye on include senior linebacker and running back Julian De Leon, receiver and safety Andres Ramirez, and wingback and corner Andrew Rivera. Coach Solano noting that they are very good at what they do and won't be leaving the field much.

Solano enters his first full season at the top of the Bulldogs program after taking over for the shortened season in the spring. A key emphasis for his team is turning a corner and begin molding a new culture.

"The culture we're trying to implement is setting a higher standard here, with higher expectations," said Solano. "One thing is making a commitment to the team, to themselves, and having no excuses for it. It's time for us to get the job done without making any excuses."

The Bulldogs only won one game in the condensed season, but it was a big win that they hope to build on. It was the first team they beat Southwest High School--one of the Valley powers--in seven years.

Coach Solano is excited to get back on the field on Friday nights and see his team play with a lot more emotion than they did last year.

"This team is hungry to compete and make games close. They want to have fighting chance heading into the fourth quarter," said Solano. "We are emphasizing playing four quarters of football, being excited about football and taking advantage of the opportunity...I have already seen a shift that we are playing with a purpose."

The Bulldogs kickoff the 2021 season Friday night at 7 pm as they host Palo Verde.

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Cole Johnson

Cole Johnson is News 11’s Sports Director.

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