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Bulldogs ready to hit the field

After two forfeits, Culver football takes to the gridiron
The Culver football team will hit the field with a varsity team this Friday when they travel to Mill City to take on the Santiam Wolverines.
   Culver had been forced to forfeit two Tri-River Conference games, with Central Linn and most recently with Kennedy, due to injuries and safety concerns since the roster is made up of mostly underclassmen.
   "We had some pretty good practices Thursday and Friday last week," Culver head coach Brian Silbernagel said. "I think we'll be ready to rock and roll."
   But now with players back from injuries, the Bulldogs will be able to resume its conference schedule, while still playing junior varsity contests to help develop the younger players and get them ready for the varsity stage next season.
   "The kids have a great attitude about it," Silbernagel said. "They are working hard, too, so there are no complaints there."
   The team will also be holding the final night of its Matt Zachary Football Camp for youngsters in grades 1-5 during the week.
   Zachary was a captain for the Bulldogs, and part of the last state championship team Culver produced. He died before graduation his senior year, and so his family and the Culver football program put on a camp spread out across three weeks in his honor.
   "It's mostly to get kids excited about football, and athletics in general," Silbernagel said. "It introduces them to everything."
   The players put the kids through the same drills the high school team does and helps them figure out the game of football at an early age.
   Silbernagel has high hopes for what his team can produce in the future, but the waiting is the hardest part.
   "I wish we had 40-some kids and have a split varsity and junior varsity team, but right now that's just not the case," he said. "Maybe some day down the road."
   To complicate things, the Bulldogs had to forfeit their last remaining home game when they called off the Central Linn game on Oct. 12.
   They will finish the season with the long trip to Waldport on Nov. 2.