The 2010 defending State Champion Folsom Bulldogs
FOLSOM, CA - The Folsom Bulldogs seemingly did the improbable last season by avenging a national televised preseason loss and defeating the Grant Pacers in the Sac-Joaquin Section Championship en route to the CIF State Championship.
With the season set to kickoff this weekend, Bulldogs head coach Kris Richardson doesn't seem to mind the critics ranking his defending Champion Folsom squad outside of the predicted favorites in Northern California.
"I don't feel any pressure at all because all of the rankings have us down towards the bottom in Nor Cal and the State," Richardson told News10 on Monday, as Folsom prepares for a much anticipated zero-week matchup on Saturday against the Pacers. "Like I told our guys, 'if we want to get ranked higher, beat Grant, beat San Ramon Valley and we'll jump right back up where we think we belong."
Richardson insists there is no hangover effect from winning the State title except for the effort and work ethic that serves as a blue print for this year's Bulldogs.
"That's the one thing you can say about last year's State Championship team, that they displayed a work ethic that raised the bar for everybody else to see what it really takes if you're going to be that champion," Richardson said.
Replacing star quarterback Dano Graves, who set numerous state records at his position, will be Tanner Trosin, last year's backup to Graves and brother of last year's star senior receiver Tyler Trosin, who will red-shirt this year at Oregon State.
Richardson said he feels Tanner will be a star, even while replacing a superstar in Graves.
"We still have a lot of talent from last year, so we're not really feeling any pressure," Trosin said. "I like to be a leader of a team, so all my teammates look up to me. I'm not feeling that much pressure because I'm not focusing on what (Graves) did last year, I'm just looking toward the future."
Folsom's future consists of two road games, beginning with Saturday's zero week meeting with the Grant Pacers, then off to Diablo Valley College in Danville, CA to face San Ramon Valley. The Bulldogs will host the Roseville Tigers in their home opener on September 9th.
By Sean Cunningham, SCunningham@News10.net