Ray ready for second season

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Ray High Bearcats

  Despite a losing three of its last four games of the regular season, including three-straight against playoff teams, the Ray football team earned the No. 10 seed in the 1A state playoffs that begin this Friday.

  The Bearcats (5 – 4) will play at No. 7 Bagdad (6 – 3) on Friday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m.

  “It’s a brand-new season and we should be healthy,” Ray assistant coach Jimmy Fessenden told Copper Basin News. “When healthy I believe we can beat any team in the state.”

  Ray defeated only one of the five playoff teams on its schedule this season – No. 11-seed Duncan in the season opener, 24 – 0. The Sultans represent a still challenge in the first round.

“Bagdad is a perennial contender,” Fessenden said. “They have playoff experience and are well coached.”

  The Sultans have reached at least the state semis every year since 2012, winning the state championship in 2013 and 2016.

  “We must come to practice focused and we must believe we can beat Bagdad,” Fessenden said. “We need to expect to win, not hope to win.”

Andy Luberda (1080 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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