Bellevue lures Texas football power for August game
Trinity of Euless, Texas will travel to Seattle to kick off the season against the four-time defending state champion Wolverines on Aug. 30 at Memorial Stadium.
Seattle Times staff reporter
They say Texas teams don't travel. In Texas, the Friday Night Lights culture is so overwhelming, there's no reason for a high-school football team to leave the state to play football.
But Bellevue made it happen.
The Wolverines convinced Texas power Euless Trinity to travel to Seattle to play the four-time defending Class 3A state champions Aug. 30 at Memorial Stadium.
"It's cool," Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff said. "They're one of the elite teams out of Texas, year in and year out. It's going to be fun. I think the coolest part is that Texas teams just don't travel."
Since the 2011 season ended, Bellevue has been trying to schedule a big-name opponent. At first, it looked like it would be Union of Tulsa, Okla. Then, a home-and-home, two-year series with Florida power St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale.
In the end, Euless Trinity's Trojans stepped up.
"If you look at what the state is doing, we play good football up here," Goncharoff said. "After the De La Salle game, people have taken notice. And Skyline, what (coach) Mat (Taylor) does up there is a great thing. They're playing some (strong) teams, and I think teams are taking notice."
The Wolverines are 5-2 against prominent out-of-state opponents under Goncharoff, including a game-changing, 2004 victory over De La Salle that snapped the Concord, Calif., school's 151-game winning streak.
"I just think our state is starting to get a lot more recognition nationally that we play good football up here," Goncharoff said. "I think that's cool, because we do."
Euless Trinity was 12-1 last season, losing only in the quarterfinals of the 5A Division 1 state playoffs.
Goncharoff said he thinks Euless Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver has about 200 players in his varsity program and could bring as many as 100 to Seattle.
"That's hard to do, but he's doing it," Goncharoff said.
The Trojans are also expected to travel well, bringing thousands of fans that would create a special event to kick off the football season.
"I do think there's motivation to it," Goncharoff said. "I think the kids get excited. It's a chance to play in a big venue. If you can't get motivated to play in games like that, you're not going to get guys that much more motivated."
Mason Kelley: 206-464-8277 or firstname.lastname@example.org