Fiercest rivalry game in southern Indiana will not disappoint

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By: Riley Zipper & Nick Blackwell

Captains Seth Hollabaugh and Scootie Middleton discuss the next play as the Bulldogs prepare for Friday night.

 Photo by: Ally Howard

New head coach Charlie Fields exudes the confidence of a mighty gazelle on the hunt for weaker prey; this prey is not necessarily the Providence Pioneers, it’s the simple thought that they are better than we are. Nothing can bring the man down. But with his confidence, does not come the slightest bit of arrogance. Coach Fields is a man of great humility, and this humility can only help the Bulldogs be the best that they can be.

There’s no doubt that the Providence game is the most looked-forward to event in all of Bulldog sports. Everything from custom T-shirts to Facebook pages are made for this momentous occasion. School doesn’t officially begin at NAHS until the trash talk begins.

This year can be seen as a fresh start for the Bulldog football squad. Head coach Charlie Fields all but wiped the slate clean this season, for the better. So we wanted to talk with coach Fields as soon as possible to get a Field-level view (disgustingly obvious pun intended) into the mind of this confident character.

Q. What made you want to take the New Albany Head Football coaching job?

A. I have been an assistant coach for 20 years until now. I wanted to have a positive effect on the kids, like the past coaches have had a positive effect on me. I was also a football player here and it is part personal pride as well.

Q. What is your favorite aspect of New Albany Football?

A. I love to be around the guys here at New Albany. They have done more than I could have ever asked of them this season; they are a great group of guys.

Q. Who do you think will be the biggest challenge for the team this year in the season?

A. Jeffersonville, Floyd Central, and Providence will all be big games for us. We are bitter rivals with all these teams and they all will be tough games to win. Columbus East will be a big test as well; they have the cream of the crop kids. They have Gunner Kiel, who has committed to Indiana University, who is a handful for any team.

Q. What are you goals for the season?

A. To get better every day. It is not good to try to predict a win-loss percentage because you are setting yourself up for failure. As long as we keep improving the games will take care of themselves. It is a process everyday getting better as a team and improving our game.

Q. What do you expect from Providence on Friday night?

A. I expect a typical Providence team. They are going to be hard-nosed and have a tough defense. We are going to have to go beat them because they are not going to let us have anything during the game. New Albany High School Football will have to go out and win it. They are a well-coached team and a much disciplined team. We will expect them to run the ball a lot against our defense.

In addition to hearing coach Field’s own thoughts on the game Friday, we wanted to hear what players and students had to say and their score predictions.

Shuaib Mirani 12 27-17 NA
Mady Baumann, 12 28-21 NA! This is always a big season opener rivalry for us & I’m excited to see how the game unfolds!
Cody Tungate 12 31-28 NA. Overall I think It’s going to be a tough and hard-hitting game, and will be close in the end, but I think our boys have the heart and passion that Providence lack, and I have their back no matter what!
Tyrus Darden 12 We are more of a family than in years prior. We’ve been going hard against each other in practice.
Scootie Middleton 12 I can’t really say who is going to win because you never know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you we will go out there and give it everything we’ve got. Our motto is be great everyday and that’s what we are doing.
Seth Hollabaugh 12 27-21. NA. Because there’s a new face to New Albany football, our defense is playing better, and we all strive to be great every day.

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Fiercest rivalry game in southern Indiana will not disappoint