I stopped by Bethel High School today to talk to coach Gavin Kralik and a few players about the upcoming season.
Of all the teams in the SPSL South, the Braves have the single biggest void to fill. Running back Anthony Meray, the TNT’s All-Area Player of the Year last fall, graduated and took his 2,500 all-purpose yards with him. Bethel does welcome back junior quarterback Justin Hordyk and its starting offensive line from 2009. So, the Braves aren’t completely starting from scratch.
Bethel will start its season far away from Pierce County, though. The Braves’ season-opener will be played at 19,032-seat Ratliff Stadium, the home field of the team immortalized in the book Friday Night Lights, and the move and television show of the same name – the Permian Panthers.
Click here to visit the Permian Panthers’ website.
“What we know is that down there in Texas, football is the most important thing,” senior linebacker Shawn Santomassimo said. “The Permian Panthers are big. We know this isn’t a game where we can lollygag.”
I’ll have more later this week on Bethel’s game against Permian in a feature story on the Braves’ trek to Texas.
Just a reminder, out high school football preview special section will run in newspapers on Thursday, Sept. 2. Best 75 cents you’ll spend this fall.