Bulldogs Bounce Out Of Season On Top

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For the third consecutive year, the Waldron Sr High Bulldogs have again broken the school record for wins in a season with 26 while last year the record was set at 24. The Bulldogs ended the 2020-2021 season with a 26-7 total record and 13-1 in conference play. Also being logged in the Bulldogs Book of Success is the first outright Conference Champions for the Sr Boys, the winningest senior class in school history with 73 wins, first District Tournament Champions for the Sr Boys, and first State Tournament win in school history for Sr Boys (4th appearance).

“This year’s team was really fun to work with, coach, and watch this season,” expressed head coach, Josh Brown. “I can’t imagine what the WAC would have been like had there not been restrictions on capacity. We had great senior leadership and our underclassmen brought it every day as well. Every player worked their butt off day in and day out and helped make this team the best it could be. It was such a fun ride and they earned every success they had! I am very proud of each individual on this basketball team!” 

The Bulldogs will be sending off seven super seniors in Gada Wagner, Isaac Villarreal, Jaden Hutchens, Caden Fuller, Braden Williams, Bryson Bailey, and Jesse Dees. Gada Wagner finished the season with 16.7 PPG, 911 career points, All-State, and All-Conference. With plans to become an electrician after high school, Gada has been playing ball at a young age with his family in the yard. “My favorite memories from this season were beating Ozark, my shot against Elkins in Regionals to send us to overtime, and my shot against Baptist Prep to send us to overtime in the first round of State. I’m going to miss being able to play basketball with my friends and the competitive games we have had this year.”

Isaac “The Real” Villarreal finished this year with 12.7 PPG, 86 career charges with 44 this season, All-State, and All-Conference. “I’ve only been playing ball since the 5th grade because my mom thought I was too small to play before that,” joked the 6’3 athlete. “Beating Baptist Prep in the first round of State was a huge highlight for me this season along with hitting 7 threes against Charleston, and winning District! I’m going to miss the bus rides with the boys, celebrating in the locker room after a big win, and Coach Brown! After high school, I’m hoping to go play 4 more years of college basketball somewhere!”

Jaden Hutchens has been playing ball for as long as he can remember. This year, Jaden took the honors of All-Conference. “My last high school basketball season was a great way to end things. I couldn’t be more proud of all the wins we brought in. We worked hard and it paid off. After high school, I plan to go to college.” Also earning All-Conference was Bryson Bailey. Playing basketball since the fourth grade, Bryson is going to miss all the time he got to spend with his teammates. “My favorite highlights from this season were all the victories we had and tying shots we hit! After high school, I plan to get a degree in Sports Medicine.”

Hitting the hoops since he was six years old, Caden Fuller snagged All-Conference and is going to miss “All the time spent together with my teammates and my coaches. My favorite highlights this season were beating Ozark in overtime, winning the District and Conference Championships, and beating Baptist Prep in double overtime. I’m going to UAFS and majoring in Mechanical Engineering after high school.” Braden Williams has been playing ball his entire life and this year it paid off as he earned All-Conference. “The best things about this season was being Conference and District champs but most of all winning! It’s going to be hard saying goodbye to my teammates.”

And popping onto the basketball scene when he was six as well is Jesse Dees. “I’ve been playing ball for as long as I can remember. Some of my favorite highlights of the year were of course winning Conference and Districts but also beating Charleston on their senior night. I will definitely miss my teammates the most. My plans after I graduate are to pursue a career as a Union Millwright and get certified as a Welder.”

Photo courtesy of Sandy Tull

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