Butler completes turnaround from winless to playoff bound

Butler High School Bulldogs
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Augusta, GA - It all started with a 42-0 drubbing at Westside. It wasn't just a season opening winning for the 2010 Butler football team. It was a celebration.

Now, that celebration has been replaced by another.

"The excitement of that first win was really good, but I think the excitement of going to the playoffs is a lot better," said senior running back Jeff Menefee. "That means you're showing people that you can really be better than just what that one game was or something like that."

That first win snapped a 41-game losing streak for Butler, the longest in the state. 14 months later, the legend grows.

The Bulldogs are in the playoffs, and for those guys that went through loss after loss, it feels better than ever.

Senior running back Tayari Thompson said, "Last week, clinching that playoff spot...it was like, 'Man, we've been through everything together, and we finally did it. We finally got what we were working for."

It's just the second playoff trip in school history, and it was hard earned. The senior class had two winless seasons, and was denied a trip to the playoffs after seven wins last year, but Head Coach Ashley Harden knew this was the group that could get it done.

"To come through everything they came through and to fall short last year, and then to make it this year, it just really shows that hard work does pay off," Harden said.

They got in, but it won't be easy. The Bulldogs draw the state's top ranked team, Sandy Creek.

For a group that's always been overlooked, that's not something they'll be worried about.

Thompson said, "We're the underdogs basically. So, we feel like we can come in, and we can do what we do and we can still come out on top. No matter if we're number four, and their number one. I mean, they put their pads on the same way we put our pads on."