NASHVILLE, TN — Expansion team overcomes odds and runs the table.
In sports, victory is always sweet. For the Middle Tennessee Bulldawgs, their 10th straight win was the best thing that could happen to some members of the team. Their 14-0 victory over the Nashville Elite, put to rest bad feelings from the previous year for some players, gave some players their first ever ring and gave closure to a Hall of Famer’s career.
“This one means a lot for me,” said defensive back Mario Meriwether who is in the Minor-League Football Hall of Fame. “I decided before last season that I would hang it up. There were some issues and I didn’t want to go out like that. This organization gave me a chance to get another ring. I am ever grateful for that.”
Last season, 12 current members of the Bulldawgs played for the Franklin Panthers. Like the Bulldawgs, the Panthers ran the table and was 9-0 going into the Middle Tennessee Football League’s championship game. Most of the players and coaches had a decision to make because their summer league season started. Their decision to not participate in the championship game was a key to the Dickson Chaos winning. The Panthers beat the Chaos 54-0 earlier in the season.
“To be honest, that started what became a bad summer for us,” said Bulldawg tight end/defensive end Romeo Gilbert. “In hindsight, we let our brothers down. If we had to do it again I think we may have done something different. To win this makes what happen last season history.”
Team owner Ricky Prochaska has never owned a team before. After playing in an alumni football game for Portland High School, he decided to see what a few of his buddies could do in the MTFL. He made a call to his friend former Nashville Storm offensive lineman Blaine Boone. Boone called some of his former teammates and the ball just started rolling. Boone then grabbed his former general manager Scott Wallace, former coaches Cromwell Stewart, Jonathon Carter and Mike Seay and former teammate Torrian Hall.
“I had no idea when I started this that we would be here,” said Prochaska. “I vowed to outwork the other owner s no matter if we won a game or not. Naming Blaine the coach was a key. He bought his guys in and we mixed this and became a family.”