Brookings-Harbor’s football team begins its season Friday with a game at Cascade Christian, after months of uncertainty since the entire sports year was pushed back by the Oregon School Activities Association.
“I’m really happy for the kids to get the opportunity to play this school year,” coach Shaun Bavaro said. “It’s been a long time. I’m just happy for the seniors to be able to put the helmet on one more time.”
It’s certainly not like a regular season, and not just because it is in the spring. The schedule only includes five games. And there is a lot more attention to detail for health reasons.
“We have a lot of safety protocols that we have to do for COVID,” Bavaro said. “But we’re willing to do it for the kids to be able to play.
“Nothing about this year has been the norm. We will do our best and always, the safety of our kids is the football program’s No. 1 priority.”
The school is still getting used to work out details of spectators in the stadium and mask wearing by the players.
“We started last September on just trying to get kids some kind of season,” Bavaro said. “We will continue to work for our fans and kids.”
Bavaro said the players have adjusted well to all the changes, including using multiple resources and areas for practice.
“The coaches have done a nice job of being organized and keeping the kids engaged at practice,” he said. “We’re excited to see some of the changes of schemes as we go forward in the year.”
Logan Holler will start at quarterback while some of the seniors switched positions to help the Bruins be more competitive.
Andrew Burger will anchor the line, joined by Oggie Badger, Derek Tuttle, Ralphie Cavazos and the only returning starter up front, Brad Russell.
The team will use running back by committee, with Bradly Conduracki, Gavin Mills and Kallen Christensen all bringing different styles of running and able to catch the ball out of the backfield.
Jacub McCullum returns to the receiving corps in the slot. He will be joined by Jamoria Beasley and Kayson Christensen. Bavaro said Jason Deshon has a high ceiling at the other slot, ranked as one of the top junior receivers in Class 3A.
Bavaro said defensive coordinator Rusty White and the defensive staff have done a good job installing the defense.
Holler, an honorable mention all-state pick last year, anchors the Bruins on that side of the ball. Kyle Burger, Christensen and Eligh Newell fill out the linebacking group. Andrew Burger, Badger, Tuttle and Russell fill out the front line.
Kayson Christensen and Condracki anchor the defenses backfield.
After facing the Challengers this Friday, the Bruins are at Sutherlin next Friday, then host St. Mary’s on March 19. On March 27 they return to Sutherlin to face Douglas and then they host South Umpqua on April 3.
“We’re excited for game week finally to start,” Bavaro said. “Always had our fingers crossed we would get to play this school year.
“I’m excited about our young group of freshmen and sophomores. They have heart and have worked really hard and some of them are working toward getting some varsity reps this season.”