Greater Athens January 2022 - Page 14



Eustace wins five games in second year under coach Monty Leaf

The Eustace Bulldogs wrapped up the 2021 season just outside of a playoff berth .
Even with that finish , second-year coach Monty Leaf was proud of the way the team fought in a very tough District 8-3A , Division I play .
“ I was very proud of our team ,” Leaf said . “ Bottom line we took over a program that had won five regular season games in two years prior to us coming in and we were able to match that this year . We won two games last year and we improved to five this year . We have a lot of athletes returning next season and look forward to what lies ahead .”
He said they learned a lot of valuable lessons after starting the year at 4-1 heading into the district season . “ It ’ s not how you start , its how you finish ,” Leaf said . “ We started off hot , learned some good hard lessons and now need to work this off season on finishing . It was disappointing , but again , the steps we made in what I consider our real first year I am proud and excited for the future .”
The Bulldogs picked up victories over Blooming Grove , Westwood , Scurry-Rosser , Kemp and Tioga . Leaf said facing the talented teams in Lone Oak , Malakoff , Groesbeck , Fairfield and Teague taught them a lot about their team this past season .
“ I believe the region is loaded with talent from top to bottom ,” the coach said . “ I believe our district is the same way . You have to be able to play your best game with limited mistakes to give yourself a chance each week and at times we did not do that .”
He said the six seniors on his squad this year did a lot to help the future of the Bulldogs with their leadership and play on the field . “ I could not have asked for a better group of seniors . There were only six of them , so that tells me that they know how to finish what some of their classmates were not willing to do ,” Leaf said . “ They had a lot of change over their high school career and through it all most of them just kept showing up and giving it everything they had .”
14 Greater Athens Magazine | January 2022