The results have been somewhat mixed so far for the Bulldogs, who are 3-4 overall and 0-3 in Region 6AAA.
Waggoner hopes to push forward a Decatur program that is coming off a 4-6 season in 2011 and hasn’t been to the state playoffs since making a state semifinal run in 2003.
Decatur started out strong with three wins in their first four games before losing their last three games in a row against 6AAA opposition, including a 28-14 loss to Blessed Trinity last Friday.
It was pretty much expected for Waggoner, who inherited a young and inexperienced team.
Nevertheless, Waggoner is encouraged by the progress his young group has made so far.
“It’s gone well,” Waggoner said. “We started out 3-1 and lost our last (three) games to very good teams — Cedar Grove, Woodward Academy (and Blessed Trinity). We’re a very, very young team. Out of our 70 kids, we have eight seniors, so we’ll have 62 kids back next year. We’re a young team, but we’ve come a long way. We’ve improved every week. We only have three seniors starting on defense and four on offense, so we have a lot of kids coming back next year.”
All three of Decatur’s losses have come against region powerhouses, with the Bulldogs losing to Cedar Grove 42-21 on Sept. 29 and to Woodward Academy 33-14 on Oct. 5 as well as Blessed Trinity lsat week.
For Waggoner, it shows the competitiveness of Region 6AAA, which features a number of state-ranked teams.
“We’ve got Blessed Trinity, which is ranked eighth, St. Pius is fourth and Cedar Grove is in the top ten,” Waggoner said. “So, obviously, it’s a very tough region. One of the good things for us is we have a lot of young kids who are getting good experience playing against such tough competition.”
Nevertheless, Waggoner has seen signs of hope for his team in those losses.
“I’ve seen some big things,” Waggoner said. “We’ve played well at times. We were down by only six against Cedar Grove at halftime and we were down by only two against Woodward. We will get better with experience.”
Waggoner is also encouraged by how fast his team has learned the spread offense and multiple defense that he installed this season.
“The kids are adjusting to it,” Waggoner said. “We’re getting better at it with each game.”
Sophomore quarterback Devontae Carter has led the way for a Decatur offense, that has also gotten key contributions from his receiving corps of senior Terryon Robinson and senior twin brothers Terez Cowan and Perez Cowan as well as running back Andrew Brown.
On defense, the Bulldogs are led by junior linebackers Nick Brantley and Kyle Kitchens and sophomore defensive end Demetrius Harris.