Hard work pays off for Bulldog football team

By: Matt Long, Sports Editor
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There were smiles all around the locker room following Folsom’s 44-18 win over Elk Grove Saturday.

The Bulldogs were celebrating a Division II Sac-Joaquin Section championship, congratulating each other and enjoying the moment before the coaching staff brought the team together.

Holding up the section championship banner, Folsom co head coach Troy Taylor estimated the value of the pennant.

“What’s this worth,” Taylor asked, “about $5.99? Seriously, it’s not worth very much, but it sure means a lot, doesn’t it?  How long will you be section champions?”

To that Taylor got a resounding “forever” from his players.

Taylor continued, “That’s right. You guys earned it and you should enjoy it. You are 14-0 and undefeated and we’ve got two games to go. Playing in games like this in these conditions, that’s when mental toughness means something. You were the more physical team. The offense didn’t turn the ball over and the defense was incredible.”

Coach Kris Richardson took over from there.

“The weight lifting all year, spring ball and the Cal Camp, working out over the summer in the heat, this is why we did all that for this moment right now,” Richardson said. “Was it worth it? This is what we’ve been working for and we’re not done yet.”

Taylor and Richardson and the rest of the coaching staff for that matter, we’re enjoying the win as much as the players. It means something to them too and a lot of it is based on their relationship with the players.

“It’s great to win,” Taylor said. “It’s a great group of kids and it’s a young group. Some picked us to finish fourth in the league and the guys responded to that and it’s to their credit. We’ve got a great coaching staff too.”

Lou Baiz, who’s in his first year as defensive coordinator for the team, also enjoyed winning a section title.

“It’s great; awesome,” Baiz said. “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m glad to be here; glad to be a bulldog.”

Over the last three seasons, the Bulldogs have posted a 39-4 record.

“You guys know how to win,” assistant coach Bobby Fresques said. “That’s the hardest thing to change, the culture of a program, but that’s what we’ve got here, a winning culture.”