CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - At Tuesday’s Big South Football Media Day, Gardner-Webb was pick to finish 5th in the 7 team league.
“I believe we should be higher than that,” said Runnin’ Bulldogs linebacker Darien Reynolds. “When I was listening to it, I was fired up. I’m ready to be number one. We have the program and the team this year to be number one.”
Three GW players made the preseason All Conference team including Reynolds, defensive lineman John Singleon, and offensive lineman Brandon Leahey.
The biggest reason for optimism for this team happens to lie in the positions that Singleton and Leahey play.
Four of five offensive linemen are back for head coach Carroll McCray and five defensive linemen are back that have starting experience. If you are solid in the trenches, you have a chance to have a good season.
Another positive is the return of starting quarterback Jordan Smith. As a freshman, he only completed 49% of his passes for 10 touchdowns. After playing in 11 games last year, he should be ready to take a big step in this his sophomore season.
The sports scene in Boiling Springs is still on fire after what the basketball team accomplished back in March.
They won the Big South conference title and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever.
“They put the pressure on us didn’t they,” said coach McCray. “We’re a small school with a lot of pride and we were excited with what Tim Craft (men’s basketball head coach) did with our basketball program. We’re looking forward to elevating our program to fight for the title. We’re excited for what they did and now I hope it will rub off on us.”
The football program has never been to the FCS playoffs so there is still more history to be made by this school.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs open the season Thursday August 29th when they come to Charlotte to take on the 49ers.
Defending Big South champs Kennesaw State was predicted to once again win the conference title.