Here is an inside look at the Bethel Braves 2019 football team.
2018 IN REVIEW
7-4 in 3A PCL (third place); lost to Peninsula in 3A first round.
Mark Iddins, sixth season
Offense – 8. Defense – 7.
TOP OFFENSIVE PLAYERS
OL Tre Davis, 6-3, 300, sr.
OL Robert Cooper, 6-5, 245, sr.
RB Will Latu, 6-2, 210, jr.
WR Cameron Parker, 5-10, 175, sr.
WR/QB Puka Sakimi, 6-2, 205, sr.
TOP DEFENSIVE PLAYERS
DL Robert Cooper, 6-5, 245, sr.
LB Uge Feo, 6-1, 215, jr.
DL Davauntae Holden, 6-0, 210, sr.
DB Peter Latu, 6-5, 190, sr.
LB/DB Will Latu, 6-2, 210, jr.
THREE TO SEE
Robert Cooper, defensive lineman
Played half of last year with a broken hand — and was still an all-3A PCL first-teamer
Peter Latu, defensive back
Oregon commit easily most explosive downhill hitter from safety position in league
Will Latu, linebacker/defensive back
Older brother gets more attention, but Braves’ rover is team’s best all-around player
Though not as deep as the other two league contenders, the Braves certainly have enough talent to win the 3A PCL.
On defense, the Braves have blue-chippers everywhere, especially in the middle with Cooper (nose tackle), Feo (middle linebacker) and Peter Latu (safety), who is an enforcer type in the back end.
But what happens in the quarterback battle will ultimately dictate how the Braves’ speedy personnel slots.
Even though he’d prefer to stay at wide receiver, Sakimi is in a quarterback battle with Eatonville transfer Kekoa Vispera, a junior. Coaches hope Vispera can win the job so Bethel can keep its best athletes (Peter Latu, Sakimi and Parker) on the perimeter catching passes.
If the Braves stay healthy, and their top-performing core maintains a team-first perspective, they should be a real factor well into November.
Sept 6: at Kennedy Catholic (CenturyLink Field), 7 p.m.
Sept. 13: O’Dea, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: at Spanaway Lake, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27: Wilson, 7 p.m.
Oct. 3: Mount Tahoma, 7 p.m.
Oct. 11: at Lakes, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Stadium, 7 p.m.
Oct 25: Bonney Lake, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31: at Lincoln, 7 p.m.