Ray Bearcats counting on experience in 2017

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Ray High Bearcats

  The Ray football team won just three games last season and two were by forfeit. The Bearcats won only one game that was actually played on the field, against Ft. Thomas, a 68 – 12 victory.

The Bearcats expect to reap the rewards of last year’s inexperience with 19 returning players, including six starters, this season.

  Ray head coach Frank Lechuga likes how his team is progressing, just a week before the season opener.

  “The boys have shown a lot more individual dedication and participation this year,” the Cats’ head coach told the Copper Basin News. “Especially during passing leagues held over the summer. We had a good turnout with great success.”

  As can be expected with 19 returning players, Lechuga said depth will be one his team’s strengths this season, in addition to its conditioning.

  “They are all key to this season,” Lechuga answered when asked to identify a few key players on the roster.

  Senior quarterback Fabian Valenzuela led the Cats a year ago in passing and rushing yards. Nathan Molar and Jaden Pace return in the offensive backfield as well.

  Molar and senior Dyllin Lopez are the top two returning tacklers on the Cats’ defense.

  What does Lechuga want to see from his team in order to have success each week?

  “Stay healthy, keep working hard, and stay focused to meet team goals set for this season.”

Andy Luberda (995 Posts)

Andrew Luberda began writing for Copper Area News Publishers (CANP) in February 2013 after working 15 years in Healthcare Financial Management. Andy covers sports for 11 high schools. His stories are published in Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner and Superior Sun, in addition to the San Tan Valley Daily PRSS and CopperArea websites. Additionally, he has written human interest stories and business profiles. In May 2012, he earned an AAS in Sports Management at Central Arizona College before graduating with a BS in Communication from Arizona State University in 2014. He and his wife, Kelli, have three sons – AJ, Kyle, and Kade.


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