Really, what does the Batavia Bulldogs football team have to do to gain respect from the pundits?
Coming off undefeated regular seasons two years running — a 9-1 overall record a year ago and a 13-1 season in fall 2011 — you'd think someone, somewhere might have figured out that, just maybe, this is one of the best programs in the area, if not the state of Illinois.
Yet, there's the list of top teams in the nation, and in Illinois, and where are the Bulldogs?
Well, Batavia is 1,802 in the national rankings, down 11 this week, according to the latest MaxPreps post. In Illinois, MaxPreps has the Bulldogs as the 68th-best team, behind such football powerhouses as Ottawa and Simeon—no offense meant to either of those teams, but, again ... really?
Batavia, of course, has Dennis Piron as coach and Micah Coffey coming back at quarterback, who threw for 1,732 yards last year, running back Anthony Scaccia, who gained 1,279 yards on the ground a year ago in a multifaceted offense, plus a loaded defense, including several seniors who were injured last season and could have been starters — strong safety Brandon Dean, running back/defensive end Kevin Green, linebacker Donovan Kilker and wide receiver Michael Moffat, the Tribune reports.
The schedule looks challenging but holds the possibility of another undefeated run — with much of the risk coming Friday, Aug. 30, in the opener against Glenbard North, a team that finished in November of last year with a 12-2 overall record.
And if the Bulldogs win that one — maybe even if they don't — who knows?
Maybe, just maybe, a short trip to DeKalb for a Class 7A championship, and the respect this program deserves.