Bruins football program takes opportunity to grow as a team
By Jef Hatch
The second session of the Gold Beach Football Team Camp kicked off Saturday night with a weight lifting competition among the 12 teams who chose to participate, including the Brookings-Harbor High School Bruins and the host team, the Gold Beach Panthers.
The Bruins' competitors included just two seniors indicating what a young team the Bruins have for the 2013 season, but hopes were high as each of the athletes prepared for their event.
Senior Tyler Marrington competed in the Light Linemen Squat Competition and while he didn't place, he was able to set a personal best.
"Tyler told me he had a goal to put up 300 pounds by the end of football season," Head Football Coach Eric Sullivan said. "He already hit his personal best and now he is going for 300 pounds today; before the season has even started."
Marrington was unable to stand under the 300 pounds of metal stacked on his shoulders, but he was visibly excited after setting a personal record.
The one Bruin who did place in the event was junior Trent Bevan, who took second in the Heavyweight Running Back Bench Press Competition with a lift of 265 pounds.
"It feels pretty good," Bevan said. "I could have gotten five more pounds. I saw a lot of the guys trying to put up too much weight and failing and I knew if I could put up a decent weight I would be able to place."
Bevan was beat by a running back from Aloha who attempted to break the camp record, but was unable to do so.
The camp progressed on Sunday to team activities and various competitions including a seven-on-seven passing game and the linemen skills competition.
For the Bruins linemen it was a difficult competition as they lost all but their last skills competition, but their spirits were high after they beat the Tigers of Centralia in the final tug-of-war of the camp.
"Great job linemen," Sullivan said in a team meeting following Tuesday's activities. "You could have given up after losing all the other events, but you didn't and that's what we want; for you to not give up even when you're down."
For junior wide receiver Alec Darger the camp has been a great experience.
"It's been pretty intense," he said. "We need to get back in the weight room, because it's obvious that we need to get stronger, but the effort from the linemen has been off the charts."
While the Gold Beach Football Team Camp is not a perfect indicator of how a season will turn out it does give coaches and players the chance to see how they stack up against other teams from Oregon and other states.
"It's been fun, and lots of learning," Sullivan said. "It's been a good chance to measure ourselves against some great competition and the kids have worked super hard so that's positive."
The camp culminates tonight with the Best of the Beach Scrimmage-a-thon on the Gold Beach High School football field.
Panthers hope to turn camp success into another state title
By Randy Robbins
It is an astonishing sight to behold, the basketball gym at Gold Beach High School.
But before it is seen another sense comes into play: the smell of 200 pairs of muddy socks hanging out to dry along the handrails of the gym.
Tents of varying shapes and sizes jostle each other and occupy every bit of exposed floor. They look like a nylon version of downtown Hong Kong.
The miniature athletic city spans the entire length and width of what is normally a relatively bare hardwood surface.
Welcome to Gold Beach Team Football Camp session two.
Somewhere among the 10 schools represented at the camp, and the hundreds of football players looking to improve their game, are Brookings-Harbor and Gold Beach high schools.
The Panthers of Gold Beach claimed a corner table in the cafeteria for dinner and looked to take the edge off their hunger.
Cole Walker is a senior captain for the Panthers and at a little over six feet tall and 260 pounds, he made the All League First Team in 2012.
Playing both sides of the ball, the lineman's plate is weighed down with two huge pulled pork sandwiches and a mountain of potato chips.
Cole's team mate, running back Mike Romsa - also a senior - slides onto the bench next to him.
"You gonna eat all of that?" Romsa asks as he points to Walker's plate.
Another Panther sits across from them, Florian Schuck, a foreign exchange student from Germany.
"I don't get to play this year." Schuck said, "but I'm here to support my team. Coach Swift said I could come to camp even though I'm leaving to go home next week."
Walker demolishes half of one sandwich in a single bite.
"I like camp because we get to scrimmage so many good schools," he said. "It kind of shows us where we are at as a team. We are doing really well.
"I mean we have a lot of hard work to do to become the kind of team we want to be, there are things we need to work on."
Walker looks around to see if Head Panther Football Coach Kevin Swift, is anywhere nearby to hear him.
"We scrimmaged Capital from Idaho and Will C. Wood from California, and we moved the ball on them," he said.
That could spell trouble for the Panther's opponents in the Sunset League.
The Capital Eagles are a 5A school near Boise, Idaho and William C. Wood is a campus of 1,852 students near Vacaville, Calif.
Gold Beach has just 227 students. Despite the good report the Panthers know they have their work cut out for them.
"Glide is going to be tough," Romsa said. "They are going to be even better than last year."
Walker remains upbeat.
"Our dive plays were good," he said. "If we can keep jelling as a line we will get there."
There would be a return of Gold Beach as Sunset League champions and state contenders. Something the team has done in five of the last eight years.