WINSLOW, Ariz. - The Winslow Bulldogs football team opened its 2016 season with games against the Monument Valley Mustangs in Kayenta Aug. 26 and the Page Sand Devils Sept. 2 in Page.
The Bulldogs have 10 regular season games with five at home and five on the road.
Winslow's first home game takes place Sept. 9 against the Chinle Wildcats with their second home game Sept. 16 against the Tuba City Warriors. The Bulldogs will renew a rivalry at home Sept. 23 against the Coconino Panthers.
The Bulldogs and the Panthers, who are in the same division, were major rivals last year in games played in Flagstaff and Winslow.
The toughest part of the season could be Winslow's next three games, with the Bulldogs going up against the Snowflake Lobos Sept. 30 in Snowflake, a home game against the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets Oct. 7 and an away game in Payson against the Payson Longhorns Oct. 14.
Winslow's closest rival, the Holbrook Roadrunners play Emil Nasser Stadium Oct. 21. The Bulldogs play the Show Low Cougars at the end of the regular season Oct. 28. The Bulldogs are hoping to make it to the playoffs in November.
The Bulldogs face a tough challenge this season as they return to the 3A East Region and compete against the Show Low Cougars, the Blue Ridge Yellowjackets and the Payson Longhorns. Winslow's rival, the Holbrook Roadrunners, are considered one of the toughest in the 3A Division.
Brandon Guzman is the head coach this season for the Bulldogs, Matt Wilson is defensive coordinator, Devon Sawyer is offensive coordinator and assistant coaches B.J. Little and Jordan Payne. Junior varsity head coach and varsity wide receiver coach is Stacey Berg, with assistant coach Brando Sedillo.
According to Guzman, being back in the 3A East means every regional game will be tough and the Bulldogs will have to play disciplined football at every play in order to win.
Guzman said key defensive players this season are linebackers Ahli Foster and Damon Avelar and defensive linemen Sonny Begody and Zach Hartnett.
Key offensive players include running back Mikel Bonner, wide receiver Junior Villanueva, quarterback Kenny Powell and offensive linemen Mark Estrada, Kevin Brown and K.C. Clay.
The Bulldogs open their season against the Monument Valley Mustangs at Kayenta Aug. 26 and have four games before their five 3A East contests. The 3A contest starts with a game against the Snowflake Lobos at Snowflake Sept. 30. The last five games are against regional rivals and will determine whether the team will be in the state playoffs or not.