2013 H.S. Football Preview: New Haven Bulldogs (VIDEO)

By Dean Pantazi - 21Alive
By Tommy Schoegler - 21Alive
By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

August 14, 2013 Updated Aug 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21Alive) - The New Haven High School football team has been in the Northeast Hoosier Conference title picture for the past few years, ultimately coming up short down the stretch.

The Bulldogs are 22-13 over the past three seasons, and claimed a 2010 4A sectional championship. The Dawgs know this 2013 is yet another year to make a splash.

New Haven is led by a defense that returns nine starters. Head coach Jim Rowland as goes the defense, so goes the entire team.

"To have a good, strong defense going into the first couple of weeks is always important," Rowland says. "Early in the season, your defense really should be playing at a higher level than your offense. As the year goes on, teams are adding more and more wrinkles to their offensive scheme."

New Haven offensive is expected to improve throughout the season, and Jordan Hogue is a centerpiece who will play wide receiver, running back and occassionally quarterback.

Most of the quarterback snaps will be taken by Vance Shearer behind a big offensive line.

"Our offense is still coming together a little bit," Hogue says. "Our line is starting to get where they need to be, and our receivers starting to get where they need to be. As long as our offensive steps it up, we should be fine."

The Bulldogs open Aug. 23 at Heritage, and believe they can be near the the top of the NHC again this season with a legitimate shot at the conference championship.

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