Senior RB Terry Wilkins is expected to have an even bigger season for Fairley than last year. As a junior, Wilikins had more than 2,100 rushing yards. (Photo: Terry Davis)

Last season, Terry Wilkins had 2,300 total yards – including 2,100 rushing yards – for the Fairley Bulldogs. And if head coach Gene Robinson has anything to do with it, Wilkins will outdo himself in his senior year.

“We are still working on his game. We want to show he can catch. We want to continue to grow his leadership abilities,” Robinson said of Wilkins. “I think he is a very special kid who can play on Sunday. If we can grow those leadership abilities in high school the shift in college will be easy.”

Robinson is now in his third year as head coach for the Bulldogs. In his first season, his team lost in the first round of the playoffs. In his second year, they lost in the second round of the playoffs. This season, Robinson has sold his team on going to Cookeville to play in the state championship game.

“The Gold Ball!” Robinson exclaimed when asked about his expectations for the season “We want to play 15 games. We want to come together and get where most people think we can’t get – to state. (Two years ago) we had expectations, but we didn’t know how to carry ourselves. Now we want to show the younger players how to do it.”haven Classic at 3 p.m. on Sat. August 24 at Whitehaven Stadium where they will face the Westwood Longhorns.

One of the major changes Robinson has made is to get Wilkins more touches in last week’s SCIAA Jamboree game. Wilkins was lined up as an outside receiver. If successful, this will do two things: One, it will open up run opportunities for other players. Secondly, it should allow Wilkins to get the ball in space and score even more touchdowns.

“The last two years, we were ahead of schedule,” Robinson said. “We are finally healthy, and we have depth. We are trying to three-peat (as district champions), but it won’t be easy. Everyone is going to want to beat us. We have to dominate.”

On defense, the Bulldogs will rely upon sophomores Cameron Spencer and Cody Jones. Both went to Havenview where they won a city and state championship. “We have to build them up so they will understand how we play ball,” Robinson said. “I am excited for Spencer and Jones.”

The Bulldogs kickoff the season on Friday, August 23 at home with conference opponent Manassas. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.; admission is $8.