Bulldogs bring back two trophies from Pa. trip

Published 9:06 pm Friday, July 31, 2009

For King’s Fork head football coach Joe Jones, last weekend was the perfect chance to look back and look ahead.

Jones took a group of his Bulldogs up to Johnstown, Pa. KF’s skill position players played, and won, a 7-on-7 passing tournament against a field made up of KF and 11 Pennsylvania schools. Passing tournaments are frequent throughout the summer, but the Bulldog linemen got to go on this trip for a “Big Man Challenge.”

King’s Fork won the challenge, defeating Richland High School of Johnstown in a tie-breaking tug-of-war. The Bulldogs won the two weight room events, the bench press and deadlift, then placed second to Richland in the tire flip and the “prowler” – which is a sled stacked with weights, then pushed in relay-race style.

The championships were nice, and the practice ahead of the upcoming season was the main objective, but Jones had more motivation for taking his players up to Johnstown for the weekend.

Jones’ high school coach at Forest Hills, Don Bailey, is still the football coach there. Jones was a Forest Hill Ranger in the late ‘70s before playing at Virginia Tech in the early and mid ‘80s. Bailey’s coached at Forest Hills since 1975 and could surpass 300 career wins this season.

“It was fun up there competing versus him,” said Jones.

“Coach Bailey is one of three male figures in my life who have been very instrumental…I was able to introduce my players to coach Bailey, my brother and my dad.”

There was more to the coach Jones childhood tour as he took his charges to the farm where he grew up and to see the Johnstown Flood National Memorial, which remembers the 1889 flood and failure of a dam which killed 2,209 people.

On the field and in the weight room, the Bulldogs got off to a great start in the Big Man Challenge and a slow start in the passing games. After the KF linemen won the two weightlifting events, then came outside and saw their teammates were struggling, the Bulldog linemen took charge and fired up the rest of their team said Jones.

The Bulldog big men have made their own trophy for their Challenge victory said Jones. There’s a small tractor tire with a label, “2009 Big Man Challenge”, sitting in the King’s Fork weight room.

“I told the guys going up there on Friday, these schools are very proud of their football tradition and they are not going to back down. They are corn-fed country boys, so I thought our line especially showed themselves what they can do,” said Jones.