Portageville football building off their “calluses”

Bulldogs changed their culture after consecutive losing seasons
The Portageville Bulldogs football team is 3-0 for the first time since 2012.
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 9:45 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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PORTAGEVILLE, Mo. (KFVS) - The Portageville Bulldogs are 3-0 for the first time since 2012.

After back-to-back 2-8 seasons in 2019 and 2020, the players changed the course of the program.

“We struggled the first two years,” said quarterback Mason Adams. “I think we just know how it feels to take those lumps and we’ve got our calluses made now.”

Giving the Bulldogs an idea of what it takes to succeed.

“That 2-8 season there’d be people you could just tell didn’t want to be there,” said junior Beau Warren. “It gave off negative energy. From then on to now, everybody has bought in to the process.”

A new work ethic along with it.

“Everybody comes in and wants to work,” said senior Trey Benthal. “All the older guys...make sure that everybody puts the work in.”

Extra motivation coming in the form of the season-ending loss in the first round of last season’s District Tournament to Caruthersville.

“We all saw what could happen and we turned that switch on,” said senior Thomas Frakes. “Ever since we came in for the first summer workout, we’ve decided this is the year that we’re really going to put in the work and make stuff happen.”

Head Coach Ian Penrod emphasized that the change has been completely player-driven.

“These kids work their living rear ends off 24-7, and I’m thrilled just to be able to have the group I have,” Penrod said. “I’m just eternally lucky to have the group I have right now.”