Harlem Bulldogs look for win after 2 recent losses

Published: Sep. 15, 2023 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Rivalries come in all different shapes and sizes.

Some have a great deal of history, like Border Bash between Georgia and South Carolina, while others are seemingly crafted out of nowhere like Harlem and Aquinas.

We were at Harlem High School, where the Bulldogs collar-coaster of a season continues against another tough opponent in Aquinas on Friday night.

Harlem hasn’t had an easy start to their season with four close non-region games. In the past two games, they lost by one possession, but the Bulldogs aren’t letting this heartbreak hold them back.

“Goal number one is to win every game you play. So, to say that, you know, we weren’t disappointed with losing those games would not be accurate. I mean, we were,” said Mark Boiter, Harlem’s head football coach.

A seven-point loss to Midland Valley and a one-point loss to Elbert County. It’s two close losses Harlem is looking to expand on the positives and work on its weaknesses.

“I think it’s just a matter of identifying and letting our guys know that they did compete for four quarters that they did play a tremendous football game and they played against really good football teams that just use that as motivation to let people know that we’re going to be dangerous moving forward,” said Boiter.

In order to stop the bleeding, an undefeated Aquinas stands in the way of getting back into the win column.

“They always have a tremendous and well-coached football team. But it always fundamentally sounds like it’s always a tough test for us. It’s always a fun game. There always seems to be back and forth and always seems to be close. So, we’re looking forward to the challenge,” said Boiter.

Win or lose, Harlem is off next week to reset and evaluate before region play when they’ll use their tough non-region schedule to make a run for the playoffs.

“We’re relentless. I think that that’s just a daily thing for us the way we practice, the way we compete on Friday nights. I just think that our guys are relentless. They want it,” said Boiter.

Fans are making their way into the stadium. Aquinas always travels for games so the sidelines will be electric on both sides.