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Joyce Jefferson
Joyce Jefferson
7:00pm - Midnight

Gridiron Preview – Old Dogs and New Tricks

After defeating the Flora Wolves in Week 1 of the 2023 IHSA Football season by a final score of 52-16, the Carmi-White County Bulldogs are set to play their home opener against the Hamilton County Foxes. 

This year’s home opener will be one to remember.

As we prepare to cheer and celebrate for the current Bulldogs, we also get the chance to cheer on the young men who donned the maroon & white in 2003. CWCHS will honor the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Bulldogs at halftime of Friday’s game. We’ll get to that in a minute.

Carmi-White County dominated the ground game in Week 1 with a total of 411 rushing yards against Flora, 212 of those yards coming from senior Caleb Seibers. Prior to this season, Seibers had been primarily a defensive player. After an injury shortened sophomore season and the King & Aud duo stealing the show in his junior season, Seibers now holds the keys to the Bulldog offense as the number one running back. Despite leading the team in carries in week one, Seibers had some good company in the Bulldogs backfield as Andrew Dodgson and Noah Pollard combined for 127 yards and three touchdowns against the Wolves. Some thought we might see Carmi spread things out on offense, but Kurt Simon will do Kurt Simon things, and that means running the ball out of the Wing-T and Power-I formations. 

If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. 

Hamilton County comes off a 34-16 loss against Sesser-Valier in week one. Don’t let that final score fool you however, it was a 22-16 game early in the 4th quarter. Hamilton County likes to spread things out. They normally aren’t a pass-heavy team, but it can always be tough to game plan against their offense. 

“They have a couple of playmakers on offense,” said CWC skipper Kurt Simon. “Their quarterback is a lot like ours in how he can make plays with his legs.”

Their quarterback is junior Andrew Webb, who tallied 64 yards of total offense in week one including a rushing touchdown. 

Hunter Graves and Braxton Miller will be Hamilton County’s two main threats on offense. The two combined for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Red Devils. 

Defensively, the Foxes like to fly around and be aggressive. Expect multiple white jerseys to swarm to the ball each and every play. 

Hamilton County’s football program has made a major turn over the past half-decade. Rhet Vaughan is in his 2nd year as head coach and he is looking for his first win against CWC. Hamilton County defeated Carmi in both the 2019 and 2021 (spring) seasons. predicts the Bulldogs winning 41-17. 

At halftime of Friday’s game, CWCHS will honor the 20th anniversary of the 2003 Bulldog football team. The 2003 Bulldogs became the first team in school history to win an IHSA Playoff game and are one of only 2 teams in CWCHS history to reach the quarterfinals. 

The 2003 team is often regarded as the best football team in CWCHS history, and the facts back it up. A team led by an outstanding senior class featuring names like Kevin Wolff, Ryan Mitchell, Daryl Simmons, Jason Kosikowski, Marc Stendeback and more – the 2003 Dawgs are arguably the most talented team ever assembled at CWCHS. 

A team defined by so many moments, it’s hard to pick one. For Kurt Simon, his favorite moment from that season is one that many Bulldog fans are familiar with. 

“4th and something in the 2nd round against Carterville, running out of time, a perfectly executed sweep. Touchdown. Moving on.”

“That was my first conference championship team. What a great group of young men,” Simon added.

Fans who can’t attend the game will be able to watch and listen to the game and the halftime ceremony on 97.3 FM WRUL and on the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel.

Kickoff is set for 7 PM, the Taylor Eye Care pre-game show will begin at 6:40 PM.


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