Bethany receiver/defensive back John Page is one of a few returning starters for Bethany, and he's helping to mold some young players stepping into key roles. Coach Reagan Roof expects Page to be the team's most important player on both sides of the ball.
With so many young players starting, do you feel it's important for you to be a strong leader?
Yes, I started as a freshman and I've had a chip on my shoulder since then. I push my teammates every day. We're just out here grinding and trying to be the best we can be.
You're 5-foot-6 and 130 pounds. Is that chip on your shoulder permanent because people think you're not tough enough?
Coaches might say that size matters, but to me, it's what's inside that matters. If you want it bad enough, size doesn't matter. Heart overtakes size, in my opinion. Yeah, I'm small, but I make up for it inside.
You started and returned punts as a freshman, and you took a lot of big hits, but you always bounced up quickly. Is that a representation of the inner toughness you're talking about?
One thing I've always done, I never lay on the field. Always get up, no matter what. I broke my shoulder last year, but I still got up. When you're injured, it's tough, but that's always been my motto. Always get up. If you fall down, get right back up and keep going.
Where do you see the strength of the team this year?
Our linemen are really coming together. They're young, but they're coming together. We have a sophomore quarterback and running back, but they're gonna do big things this year, I think. We're gonna surprise some people.
Will the offense look different from the spread passing attack of the last few seasons?
It will be more run-oriented. Kind of like Chris Chamberlain's team back in 2003, that's more what it will look like. More run, but we can pass it also.
BY SCOTT WRIGHT