BANDON — For the first time this year, the Bandon High School football team got a chance to play another team. Last Friday, it was time to get off the practice field and out of the weight room and into a football-like environment before the season kicks off this Friday at home against Glide at 7 p.m.
The Tigers took to Florence to play in a jamboree against Marshfield, Siuslaw and Pleasant Hill in preparation for the impending season. Having the smallest school in attendance, Bandon head coach Aaron Freitag wanted to see his team rise up to the higher competition.
“That’s what I’m looking for, that we can execute our plays. Guys are doing their assignments, we’re clicking, we’re running, everything is fluent. Those are the things. And I’m always looking for guys to step up,” said Freitag. “We did all right. We did decent. I think we did about what I expected to come up here and play against three (bigger) schools.”
Earlier in the week, the team’s starting quarterback Braydon Freitag injured his calf which kept him from competing in the jamboree. He is probable for this week’s opener. The injuries continued with an injury to a starting guard and a season-ending injury for a running back.
The Tigers tried out a pair of quarterbacks — sophomore Joel Hammons and junior Wyatt Dyer — in the younger Freitag’s absence. Dyer threw a pair of touchdowns against Marshfield in the span of three plays for the highlights of the day.
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“It’s good for us to see good competition like that, good athletes. And a good football program, it helps them so hopefully they look at that and they think 'I can hang with this guy. I can compete with him.' And maybe they are seeing stuff and thinking that’s where we want to be,” said Aaron Freitag.
After last season’s 6-4 finish, Bandon’s focus now turns to Glide for the season opener. Last season, the Wildcats made a run to the state quarterfinals. To get ready for this non-league game, Bandon is looking to focus on the little things.
“It means as a staff we’re sitting down this weekend looking at film and at everything we did and saying we’ve really got to work on this, we’ve got to shore this up,” said Aaron Freitag. “How can we execute this better?”
This will be the fourth year in a row Bandon and Glide have met in the season opener. Glide has won all three previous contests.