By Jeffery Winborne, The Community Journal
Reclassification always brings change to high school football schedules, some good and some bad. For Dora, however, 2022 brings with it much anticipated change after the Bulldogs played just three home games a year ago in a region that consisted of no other Walker County teams.
Second-year head coach Chavis Williams said at the 2022 Walker/Winston Media Days that his team is going to love to travel this year, adding “it’s a lot closer for our fans after being all over the place last year.”
“Last year was a year full of a lot of adversity due to COVID,” he said. “We only had three home games which put us on the road a lot. Region games on the road are always tough. We battled, but we didn’t finish a couple of games.”
Despite the lopsided home-and-away schedule, Dora finished the season 5-6 with a 41-21 loss on the road to Brooks in the first round of the Class 4A Playoffs.
“We lost two games by a combined four points that separated us from first and fourth place in our region and being able to host a home playoff game,” Williams said. “It’s going to be nice to have 5-and-5 this year in the regular season.”
Dora stays in Class 4A in 2022 but moves from Region 6 to Region 5, joining Oak Grove, Northside, Hamilton, Haleyville, Curry, Corner and Cordova.
“It’s a really challenging region,” Williams said. “You have Curry, much improved. Coach Emerson is a really excellent coach. I keep up with them from afar and he does a really good job with everything he does.
“Northside has been really consistent, probably one of the most consistent programs in the last six years,” he said while also noting Haleyville has a new coach in Bo Culver.
The biggest shift for Dora comes in the form of the program’s rivalry games with Cordova and Corner, both of which are now region games. Both of those games are already big dates on the Bulldogs’ calendar, but them “being in a region makes that game mean just a little bit more,” according to Williams.
The Bulldogs will have no room to breathe before region play starts as they open the season against Winfield, who lost in the third round of the playoffs a year ago, and at Oneonta, the Class 4A state runner-up. When asked about the matchup against the Redskins, Williams said he “felt like we let that one get away from us but the better team won.
“They were a state runner-up and we’re going back up there again in a tough environment,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough test for our kids to kind of see where we’re at at that point before we head into region play.”
The most eye-catching part of the new region for Dora is seeing traditional rivals Cordova and Corner now competing for the same region title as the Bulldogs.
Dora leads the series against Corner 32-12-2 all-time in a series dating back to 1946 while the Bulldogs and Cordova are tied at 48-48-2 since 1925. Both of these games are always highlighted on Dora’s schedule, but now with more than bragging rights on the line, it adds even more to these intensely contested rivalry games.
“Cordova and Corner being in a region makes that game mean just a little bit more,” Williams said.
Dora kicks off the season with a Thursday night game on August 18 at home against Winfield.
Dora Bulldogs 2022 Schedule
|09/16/22||Corner||Dora, AL (Corner)|
|10/21/22||Oak Grove||Dora, AL|
|10/28/22||St. Clair Co.||Dora, AL|