Eyes of Texas on Thursday's Bellevue-Euless Trinity game | High-school football
Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff knows there's nothing fake about the mystique behind Texas high school football because he experienced it...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Players to watchTrinity (Euless, Texas)
DE Gaius Vaenuku, 6-6, 260: Offers from Washington, Michigan, Oklahoma State, UCLA, others.
TE Jason Reese, 6-4, 220: Committed to Arizona State; also had offers from Missouri, Purdue, TCU.
DE Sam Tevi, 6-5, 255: Utah commit; offered by Washington, Arizona State, Arkansas, others.
LB Sean Constantine, 6-3, 225: Second-ranked prospect in state, according to Rivals.com; committed to UW.
LB Myles Jack, 6-2, 225: State's fourth-best prospect headed to UCLA.
Athlete Budda Baker, 5-11, 175: Only a junior, Baker already has double-digit offers, including Notre Dame, UW, WSU. Scout.com wrote that Baker could become Wolverines' "most electric back ever, and that's saying something."
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Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff knows there's nothing fake about the mystique behind Texas high school football because he experienced it three years ago.
In case you didn't attend that Bellevue loss in Katy, Texas in 2009 — and odds are good you didn't — the Internet has opened another window into Texas' devotion to high school football.
On message boards across the state, Thursday's Bellevue-Euless Trinity showdown at Seattle Memorial Stadium has drawn the eyes of Texas. In fact, on the popular site 5atexasfootball.com, 1,900 comments have filled a thread viewed by more than 59,000 people.
"Up here, it's kind of like, 'Bellevue's playing a big game,' Goncharoff said. "In the state of Texas, this is a big, big deal."
It's also big for a Bellevue program that takes pride in beating out-of-state opponents. The Wolverines are 6-2 in those game, including a 2004 win that snapped a 151-win streak by De La Salle of Concord, Calif.
Many inside the program are calling Thursday's game the second-biggest in Bellevue history, behind only De La Salle.
"For us, coming from Washington, we don't get the reputation that we'd get if we were in Texas or California doing the same thing we're doing," said former Bellevue player Kendrick Van Ackeren, a redshirt freshman linebacker at Hawaii. "These out-of-state games give us a chance to show off our players and build a reputation around the country instead of just around the Northwest."
It's also a rare crack at a Texas team outside the Lone Star State. The one knock on Texas powers is that they don't travel; opponents come to them.
"We've never been out of the state," Trinity coach Steve Lineweaver said. "We're not real travelers."
Bellevue is the higher-ranked team nationally. But comparing teams from different states is often a game of shadows.
For instance, Bellevue's state-champion 400-meter relay consisted of four football players, including Budda Baker and Myles Jack. Trinity's 400 relay, also football players, finished only 41st at the Texas 5A state meet but posted a faster time than Bellevue's.
One thing is clear no matter how you look at it: Bellevue will be dwarfed in the trenches. Goncharoff said Trinity's linemen might outweigh Bellevue's by 80 pounds per man.
"They're bigger than the Huskies," Bellevue booster club member Joe Razore said.
Nearly every Trinity lineman is listed at more than 250 pounds, and when the Trojans walked into Memorial Stadium on Wednesday afternoon, they looked it.
"I don't know if it's the greatest matchup for us, considering where they are really good we are probably not as good," Goncharoff said.
Yet Bellevue's deceptive offense will also be a new wrinkle for Trinity. While simulating the Wing-T offense is one thing, actually going against a Bellevue team adept at running it is quite another.
"They look like they're experts at it," Lineweaver said.
So the game will likely come down to this: Can Bellevue handle Trinity's size in the fourth quarter, and can Trinity adjust to Bellevue's unusual offense? Either way, there won't be a lack of outside interest.
"It's big, period, to the whole Bellevue football program that we can show we're playing the best with the best," Bellevue lineman Darien Freeman said. "It's huge."
Jayson Jenks: 206-464-8277 or email@example.com