Crestview Bulldogs, Baker Gators begin football practice today

Published: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 12:21 PM.

With the new three-team District 1-7A, which comprises rival Niceville and Tate, Hatten acknowledges that a winning record won’t necessarily punch the Bulldogs’ first postseason ticket since 2010. And vice versa.

“You can have a losing season and still make the playoffs if you win the right games,” he said.
“... That’s always a goal: ... make the postseason, whether you play Little League, junior high, high school, junior college or Division 1 football.”

An obstacle in the way of that goal — a big one — is Niceville, which Hatten credits for being well coached and creating a successful environment. However, pertaining to the lack of recent and prolonged success against the Eagles — 6-0 against Crestview since 2007, including last season’s 42-7 win — Hatten doesn’t see disparity in talent as the main reason behind the losing skid.

“I’ve had the fortune of recruiting the Panhandle, and I’ve seen the talent level at both schools, and there’s not a big difference,” he said. “In fact, there’s been years like last year where you could argue Crestview had better players. But you can lose a ballgame for a lot of reasons.

“But I don’t put a lot of stock in the past, and we’re hoping to bring something different to the table this season.”

Getting over the hump

For the past two seasons, the only thing standing in the way of Baker School and a postseason berth was a one-possession loss to Freeport.

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