[ Maria Monesi | WOUB ]

Bloom-Carroll look to deepen their state title run despite all-state losses

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CARROLL, Ohio (WOUB) — The Bloom Carroll Bulldogs have seen tremendous success over the last four seasons and will look to carry it into its upcoming season.

The Bulldogs have earned four straight league titles and a 42-8 record over those four seasons. Just last season, the team suffered a heartbreaking 27-24 loss in the state semifinals. The loss marked the second season in a row the Bulldogs lost in a state semifinals game.

Bloom Carroll also graduated seven all state players, the most in the 740.

“A lot of those guys were three, four-year lettermen,” head coach Jeremy Mckinney said. “So what’s happening for us is the guys that are coming up and seeing how those guys have prepared and played the last four years.”

Not only did the Bulldogs say goodbye to a powerful group of seniors, but they also saw the departure of head coach Wade Bartholomew, who spent eight years with the team.

Former defensive coordinator Jeremy Mckinney is now under the helm for Bloom Carroll.

“It allows you to see what you wanna do, what you don’t wanna do,” Mckinney said. “What you like, what you don’t like.”

Mckinney says the biggest difference this season is a deeper bench. The bulldogs will have 12 to 15 additional players compared to last season. For senior running back Chase Plantz, he looks forward to working with his younger teammates.

“Every year we’ve always had them upperclassmen and we get to finally build chemistry with all the younger kids,” Plantz said.

The chemistry will be put to the test when Friday night action returns. Senior linebacker Andrew Marshall says the team is prepared for the challenge.

“I feel that we definitely have some pressure,” Marshall said. “Since we lost a lot of guys last year. We always have people doubting us after every year. So we just need to prove that we can play how we play.”

Mckinney says he hasn’t felt the pressure yet.

“Our guys are great, our community is great,” Mckinney said. “I felt like we haven’t really missed a beat like we are just continuing where we have been.”