Two high school football teams, former big-time rivals, will open the 2001 season here Friday (tonight) in Bulldog Stadium. The Brady Bulldogs and Coleman Bluecats, perennially district foes in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, renewed their rivalry last year after going their separate ways when the ‘Cats dropped back to Class 2A a number of years ago. The pair have faced each other several times since the 1960s, but the match-up just isn’t as fierce as it used to be. However, in last season’s opener, the fiery Bluecats overcame a Brady lead and then held off a Bulldog rally to take a 22-21 victory over their neighbors to the south. Coleman went on and had a playoff season, finishing 8-3 in the tough District 9-2A that includes Bangs, Jim Ned, Hawley, Winters and Cisco. The Bluecats, under second-year coach Phillip Richey, fell to Comanche in the bi-district game last season, 21-3, but they lost heavily to graduation, returning only nine lettermen and three offensive and four defensive starters. Forecasters predict that the ‘Cats will reach the playoffs again this season, finishing in third place behind Bangs and Jim Ned. Brady, again competing in the ever-strong District 26-3A, has been picked to complete the season in fifth place behind Wimberley, Burnet, Ingram and Llano and just ahead of Liberty Hill. The Dogs also lost some top players from last year’s 3-7 season, but they have a top performer in tailback/defensive back Johnny Menefield, a 5-10, 175-pounder who has been an all-district pick for the last two years. This season the Dogs return five offensive and five defensive starters from last year. Coach Davy DuBose, in his first outing in the black and gold but a veteran of 25 years as a Texas high school mentor, knows that it will take a few games before his team absorbs his new formation, plays and a completely new system. “We are improving each week, and I feel we’ll be aggressive and in good physical condition for this game against Coleman,” he said earlier this week. DuBose admitted he knew next to nothing about any of his team’s opponents since he was hired May 31 after two Bulldog coaches, Jay Jones and Nathan Headrick resigned their athletic directorship positions in rapid succession’Jones to take a business job and Headrick to be a graduate assistant at Texas A&M. During their two scrimmages in pre-season, the Bulldogs showed improvement from the first one at San Saba to their second at Comfort. DuBose hopes that his charges will continue to improve throughout the season. His goal is to reach the playoffs. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in Bulldog Stadium.