SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Bulldogs on the rise

Published: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 05:56 PM.

Call it magic or good coaching, but both the Crestview boys and girls won 20 games this year. And the boys captured their first district championship in more than 20 years.

It also had been more than 20 years since either team won a playoff game, but that changed this season as the Crestview girls beat Leon and Fort Walton Beach before losing to Apopka Wekiva in the Class 7A region finals.

The boys won their region quarterfinal game over Leon on Thursday and hosted Lincoln Tuesday night in the region semifinals. A Bulldogs win and they will host the region final Saturday with a trip to the state finals on the line.

Some of the other CHS teams also have shown improvement.

Combest took the Bulldog volleyball team to the playoffs for the first time in several years. The football team, which was coming off back-to-back 4-6 seasons, improved to 5-5 under first-year coach Tim Hatten and, in the process, beat rival Niceville for the first time in more than 30 years.

One of the amazing things I've seen in all of this is the unity and bond that all of the teams share in support of one another. The Bulldog family is just that among all of the Crestview athletes.

For years, several Crestview area athletes have made the trip south on State Highway 85 to play ball for Niceville, Fort Walton Beach or Choctawhatchee. It's time for Crestview kids to stay in Crestview and get on board with what's happening at their hometown school.

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