The Bulldogs (11-4 at press time) are poised to make another run at a state title this season.
Decatur, ranked as the No. 6 team in the LaxPower Class A-AAAA rankings, has never made it past the second round of the postseason, but coach Wes Hatfield said that is the goal every season.
“These guys have a dedicated attitude and they are certainly optimistic,” Hatfield said. “We have been through some rough patches and now it is time to handle our business the way we know how to handle it.”
Hatfield said his team is excited for the postseason.
“They are looking forward to getting a few home playoff games, making some waves and trying to advance further than we ever have before,” Hatfield said.
Hatfield said the team may be young, but the players are willing to learn and work hard.
“We are a very young team with a bunch of sophomores and freshmen starting,” Hatfield said. “But these guys have been playing together for a long time and it has been great to see them come into their own at the varsity level.”
Hatfield said the team has six seniors who have provided leadership all season long.
Hatfield said captains Ben Rigger, Sam Weitnauer, Davis Byrd, and Wesley Berberick have done well leading the team.
“They have been outstanding,” Hatfield said. “They have done a really good job of recognizing the talent that is here and potential this team has.”
Hatfield said the quad of leaders has kept the team together through all the tough workouts.
“Those guys are screaming and yelling for more out of their teammates even when they are fatigued from what we put them through,” Hatfield said.
The Bulldogs sailed through the first part of the season with six straight wins to open the season, but went 5-4 over the next nine.
Decatur lost to No. 4 Westminster (11-4) 8-6, McIntosh (9-7) 7-6, No. 7 Marist (12-2) 7-6 and Class AAAAA Roswell (10-4) 8-7 in overtime.
“We have identified some things in those recent losses some things we can address,” Hatfield said. “We just need to up the focus, make sure we bury our shots and fix a couple things. If we do those things, I think we will be good for a long playoff run.”