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Taking it one step at a time

Brookings-Harbor High School senior Justin Murray runs the ball back during punt return practice on Tuesday night. Murray was described by head coach Eric Sullivan as, “someone who is exciting to watch.” The Pilot/Jef Hatch
Brookings-Harbor High School senior Justin Murray runs the ball back during punt return practice on Tuesday night. Murray was described by head coach Eric Sullivan as, “someone who is exciting to watch.” The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The Brookings-Harbor High School Bruins football team is set to open the football season on Friday at Phoenix High School and are working hard at one of Head Coach Eric Sullivan’s goals — get better every day.

“My goals are more for every day,” Sullivan said. “I’m a new coach and we’re learning new systems, so my goals are to get better every day. We want to win a league title and go to state but in order to achieve those goals we have to get better every day.”

Sullivan spent the last four years as an assistant on the BHHS football team and was the junior varsity head coach last season. He has also kept some experienced coaches around as he builds a new brand of Bruins football. Chris Schofield, Mark Townsend, Dan O’Brien, Lloyd Alto and Bob Hoyman are all assisting the freshman coach.

“We’ve got an exciting new head coach who wants to get it after it,” senior Calvin Watwood said. “What Sullivan is doing is great. He is giving 100-percent effort and doing whatever he can for us. Right now it’s all about us paying him back for that and giving him all we can in the weight room, in practice and on the field.”

Watwood is just one of 11 seniors who will step onto the field as Bruins this season. He is joined by Trent Bevan, Alex Boynton, Jesse Tefertiller, Denny Bench, Scott Armstrong, Brendon Benson, Tyler Marrington, Levi Williams, Izak Ehlers and Justin Murray.

“We’re looking pretty good,” Bevan said. “We have something good going — the offense we’re running is versatile — and we’ve got athletes all over the field. That’s something we haven’t had in a long time and it’s exciting.”

“We want to get Brookings excited about football again,” he added, “but we need support from the town and community.”

The seniors discussed season goals with Sullivan before the season began and came to a consensus that they wanted to work on being more unified as a team. 

“We’re trying to get more team unity,” Marrington said. “We want more than the past, this year we’re really trying to be a strong team.”

Having a new coach and learning new plays aren’t the only twists in the licorice called BHHS football, a new team added to the Far West League and new coaches league wide also bring interesting flavors to the mix.

“League is going to be super interesting because the only two returning head coaches are at North Bend and Siuslaw,” Sullivan said. “I feel like we can beat anybody in our league on any given day if we do what we’re supposed to and work as hard as we can.”

The Bruins have the tools to capture a league title, according to Sullivan.

“We have lots of weapons on offense,” Sullivan said. “As far as skill players go, we have a lot of weapons.”

The Bruins first preseason game is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday at Phoenix High School.

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