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July 30, 2013

FOOTBALL SUMMER REPORT: NA players giving total commitment

Bulldogs have been showing up in droves for summer practices

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NEW ALBANY — NEW ALBANY BULLDOGS

• Departures: QB/FS Michael Diehl, DE/TE Marquil Hastings, LB/TE A.J. Cleek, DE/FB Jesse Demuth, OL/DL Nick Lynch.

• Key returning players: RB/DB Tuwan Payton (Sr.), WR/DB Ravon Wright (Sr.), DB/WR Corey Grainger (Sr.), QB/K Vincent Falcone (Sr.), WR/DB Keaton Stout (Sr.), QB/CB Zach Donan (Jr.), RB/FS Jeffontae McClain (Sr.), SS/WR Devin Higgins (Sr.), DL/OL Javier Santiago (Sr.), OL/DT Mick Wahking (Sr.), DT/FB Ryhgis Barbour (Sr.), DT/TE Damian McDuffy (Sr.).

• 2012 recap: It was an up-and-down season for the Bulldogs. They started the season 3-1, but then they dropped three of their next four games. After suffering a 22-20 home loss to Seymour in Week 8, New Albany finished the regular season with a winning record by prevailing in a dramatic overtime game at archrival Floyd Central, 28-27. The Bulldogs’ campaign ended in the opening round of Class 5A Sectional 8, falling at rival Jeffersonville 62-35.

• 2013 expectations: New Albany has several players back on both sides of the ball. Payton will lead the New Albany offense, running behind four returning starters on the offensive line. The big question mark on offense is whether Falcone or Donan will be the Bulldogs’ starting quarterback. Whoever the signal-caller is, New Albany has several talented wide receivers to get the ball to and make big plays. Defense will face a challenge in finding a pass rusher to replace Hastings. The Bulldogs are in the new Class 6A this season, and will play in Class 6A Sectional 8 with the Red Devils, Center Grove and Columbus North.

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