Bulldogs' first victory over Niceville in 31 years 'a long time coming'


Crestview head coach Tim Hatten, left, and assistant Coach Matt Sanders yell from the sideline.

Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 04:35 PM.

CRESTVIEW — When Crestview High School's football team beat Niceville 17-12 on Friday, it set off a celebration more than 30 years in the making.

Prior to Friday’s win over the Eagles, the Bulldogs had not beaten Niceville since 1982. That span of 31 years is literally a lifetime.

Crestview defensive backs Coach Tim Gillis was a sophomore on the 1982 team. His son, Matt, is a senior on this year’s team.

“Obviously, because it’s Niceville, everybody gets caught up in the 30 years,” Tim Gillis said. “Like I’ve said many times, it’s not like we have played 30 years in a row, but it has been a long time.

“It was exciting. It was exciting for the players and for the community, and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Bulldog defensive coordinator Thomas Grant wasn’t even born. But you might say he was at the game; his mother was pregnant with him when she attended that night in 1982. Grant went on to play for the Bulldogs, but he never faced the Eagles in a regular game.

The win for Grant was more important because of what it meant to the present and future of the Bulldogs.

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