BORGER, Texas (KFDA) - After winning only one game last season, the Borger Bulldogs hope it’s a different story under new head coach Duane Toliver.
“If you can’t walk in this Place and understand that football is a big deal and sports are a big deal, then I’ve got to check your pulse and make sure you’re still breathing.” said first year Head Coach Duane Toliver.
The Borger Bulldogs are in rebuild mode after struggling last season, but Toliver looks to have the same impact he had while at Brownfield.
“It was kind of the same situation. Brownfield had gone through three wins in two years. Coming in, we weren’t sure if they were going to buy into what I was selling, it’s the normal thing,” said Toliver. “Once they realized ‘He knows what he’s talking about, he’s excited, and we have all this cool new stuff,’ once you get that excitement and you get the kids to buy in, everything else is all gravy.”
One of the perks of the new job is the Bulldogs state of the art facility decked out with locker rooms, a team film room, all sports weight room, and a turf room coaches dream about.
“When those afternoon thunderstorms roll in, we roll the doors up and we’re still practicing,” said Toliver.
The community's investment in Borger athletics made Toliver’s choice to take the job that much easier.
"First of all, thanks to the tax payers of Borger, Texas for their investment into athletics and into football in particular. Everybody says they support you, but when they put the type of money they put in this facility, which shows the support you have,” said Toliver.
With a top notch facility and some brand new uniforms, it’s time for the Bulldogs to get some of wins.
“This job has always been intriguing to me. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Panhandle, coaching at places like Claude and Tulia. We’ve always run across Borger kids and you see their kids and ask, ‘Why aren’t they better, and why don’t they win more?’ So it’s always been one of those jobs that intrigued me,” said Toliver. “Number one, I like the size, and number two, I like a challenge. I like being able to come in and take kids who have been beat down a little bit and told they can’t do something and show them what they can do.”
One of the Bulldog’s biggest struggles last season was their depth, but coach has an idea of how to change that.
“I’m going to give you a public service announcement. Any kid in Borger, Texas that has played football in the past, seen a football game, has been to a football game. If you want to come play football, by god I want you out here playing football," said Toliver.
The Bulldogs open up the 2019 season against the Pampa Harvesters.