New Albany High School Bulldogs

NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WCBI) — New Albany will have a new look in 2015.

Long-time head coach Ron Price has departed, which paved the way for Jake Hill to take on his first head coaching job.

CLASS 4A | REGION 2
HEAD COACH: Jake Hill
Aug 21 Bruce away
Aug 28 Itawamba away
Sept 4 Pontotoc home
Sept 11 Amory home
Sept 18 Corinth away
Sept 25 N. Pontotoc home
Oct 2 Senatobia* away
Oct 9 Byhalia* home
Oct 16 Lafayette* away
Oct 23 Rosa Fort* home
Oct 30 Ripley* away
Nov 6 Open
*District games

“We have some really good kids here,” Hill said. “The support from the community and the administration have been unbelievable.

“Coming into a new job, I’ve been really proud of our kids. They’ve given good effort in the things we asked them to do and they’ve bought in to what we’ve been trying to do.”

There is a new energy in the air at New Albany with Jake Hill.

If that last name sounds familiar, that’s because it is: Jake is the son of Oxford’s Johnny Hill.

Jake is focused on returning the Bulldogs back to prominence this season though, and he hopes to do that behind the mentality of his team.

“They’ve all really had an unbelievable attitude with the things we’ve been doing,” coach Hill said. “I think a lot of it is new to them and they’ve really responded by giving good effort and taking on a leadership role. I’ve been on them to step up and be leaders for this team and they’ve done a good job.”

It is a bit of a rebuilding job for Coach Hill in his first season with the Bulldogs.

New Albany had become a perennial division title contender since moving into Class 4A but have fallen on hard times in the last two seasons, missing the playoffs in both years.

But Hill is aimed at bringing back the excitement to New Albany football in the hopes that will also bring back the postseason.

“You have to make this game fun for the kids,” Hill said. “Last year, they had a bad season and we just want to stay positive with these guys and try to get them to compete and have fun. When kids are out there having fun, they usually give a little bit more effort. They’re more in tune when doing things and we’re trying to build on that and start the season off with a clean slate for New Albany.”

The Bulldogs will start the season with two consecutive road games at Bruce and Itawamba AHS before welcoming in Pontotoc for the home opener.