Kevin Bullard once wore the red and black on the baseball diamond at Cedartown High School, where he played behind the plate as catcher and ended up with opportunities aplenty for his talent on the field.

Years later after a professional career in the minors and with the Arizona Diamonbacks, the only thing Bullard now swings is a golf club with many trips to the World Drive championships under his belt. Yet his love of baseball still lives on with his family, and though his son isn’t wearing the Red and Black of Cedartown anymore, he still sports the No. 23 in the same position as his father.

So it was a rare opportunity for Bullard to come back to his hometown and watch his son play his alma mater in the season opening scrimmage between the Wolves and Bulldogs.

“So 23 years ago I was the catcher here, and 23 years later he wears the No. 23 and playing the same position,” he said. “We’ve gotten a lot of the same honors – all-region, all-area and all-state honors, and 23 years later my oldest son is doing the exact same thing. He’s not in the same uniform, but for his senior year starting in the exact same spot, it feels cool.”

Though Cedartown took an early lead, Rome got the best of their neighbors in the 11-6 win that won’t count on the books, but definitely counts for the proud dad.

Connor Bullard finished his day with his dad and grandfather Rich Bullard (a former Bulldog pitcher) watching along 1 and 2 at his appearances at the plate with a stand-up double in the first inning, and threw out two runners stealing.

His dad hopes he follows in the family footsteps of getting to play professional baseball too. Bullard is already on his way after he accepted an offer from the University of West Georgia on National Signing Day last week.

“He’s excited that he gets to go off and play college ball,” he said. “He’s just a blessing of a kid to have.”

For Cedartown’s part, it gave Bulldogs fans to also celebrate several new things as well in the game that didn’t count. A whole new home dugout facility got used for the first time on the third base line, and new head coach Gevin Johnson got to manage the team for their first outing.

The Bulldogs are back in action today - weather pending - in their official season opener hosting Chattooga, then host Rockmart for the first of two rivalry games this season on Tuesday afternoon.

They’ll head to Summerville on Thursday before hosting Coosa to cap off the week.