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Changes will dominate Clarkdale's 2003 season

By Staff
This is the second in a series of stories taking a look at the upcoming football seasons for area high schools.
By Marty Stamper / EMG sports assistant
July 11, 2003
Fresh off their best football season since 1982, the Clarkdale Bulldogs will find a fresh new way to start their 2003 football season as their first three games are all Thursday night affairs.
Clarkdale went 7-4 last fall and made the state playoffs for the first time in school history. The seven wins were the most since the Bulldogs finished 8-2 in 1980.
Since then, however, head coach Bubba Hathorn announced his resignation to take a similar position at Northeast Jones. A new head coach at Clarkdale has yet to be named.
Hathorn leaves with a two-year record of 10-11. The 10 wins tie Hathorn with Bob Ethridge (1962-64) and Joe Killens (1988-92) for second place for victories on Clarkdale's coaching ladder. George Belvin, who was 65-88-1 from 1972-86, is the leader.
Clarkdale brings a 110-291-5 all-time record into this fall.
The 2003 Clarkdale team finds several rivals returning to its schedule after multi-year absences.
West Lauderdale returns in the season opener at Collinsville. The two haven't squared off since 1996. West has won the last seven games in the series to take a 21-6 all-time advantage.
Enterprise also is back on the schedule after a four-year layoff. Enterprise has dominated the series, winning 26 of the 27 meetings. Clarkdale's only win came in 1982.
Clarkdale and Southeast Lauderdale continue their rivalry which dates back to 1962 on Sept. 11 at Vimville. The Bulldogs beat Southeast 34-13 last fall for their first win in the series since 1992. Southeast holds a 27-11-2 all-time advantage.
Mercy Cross heads to Clarkdale for homecoming on Sept. 19 for the first meeting between the two schools. Clarkdale hosts Heidelberg on Sept. 26. The Bulldogs and Oilers haven't met
since 1969. Heidelberg has won all four previous contests.
Former Cherokee Conference rival Lake travels to Clarkdale on Oct. 3 for their first meeting since 1990. Lake holds an 11-3-1 series advantage.
The Bulldogs go to Durant to take on Williams-Sullivan on Oct. 10. Clarkdale has won both previous meetings with the Yellow Jackets.
Clarkdale plays Philadelphia for the first time in school history on Oct. 17 at Philadelphia. The Bulldogs host Kemper County on Oct. 24. That series is even at one win apiece.
Clarkdale closes out its regular season at Newton on Oct. 31. Newton holds a 5-1 series lead. Clarkdale defeated the Tigers 17-7 last year.
Replacing South Leake and Scott Central in Division 5-2A this fall are Lake (up from 1A) and Philadelphia (down from 3A). Returning league members are Clarkdale, Newton, Kemper County, and Williams-Sullivan. Four of the six will make the playoffs.

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