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Bethel’s eyes opened wide at sight of West Texas football stadium

Post by Doug Pacey / The News Tribune on Sep. 1, 2010 at 9:44 am with No Comments »
September 1, 2010 9:44 am

The Bethel football team arrived safely in Odessa, Texas, on Tuesday evening. Reporter Joel Erickson of the Odessa American caught up with the Braves during practice at Ratliff Stadium and wrote this story.

Odessa American photo editor Mark Sterkel passed along some photos from Tuesday. You can find them after the jump.

It sounds like it didn’t take long for the Braves to understand just how big high school football is in Texas.

When Shawn Santomassimo stepped into Ratliff Stadium for the first time, he couldn’t believe his eyes.

High school football stadiums in Washington aren’t built like Ratliff. Rising tall into the West Texas sky, massive concrete bleachers and a scoreboard bigger than the side of most two-story houses.

Like the rest of his Spanaway Bethel (Wash.) teammates, Santomassimo, a senior linebacker for the Braves, had to take a few minutes simply to process the information flooding into his brain.

“It’s awe-inspiring,” Santomassimo said. “For our brotherhood and our team to come down here and play a team like Permian under the lights, it’s amazing.”

Bethel will practice again today at Ratliff Stadium and play the Permian Panthers at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

Fans of the Bethel High School football team greet their team at the Midland International Airport on Tuesday.
Bethel arrives at Midland International Airport on Tuesday.
Bethel football players arrive for practice Tuesday at Ratliff Stadium.

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