VYPE U: Bridgeland's Raffield wraps up preseason

VYPE U: Bridgeland's Raffield wraps up preseason
VYPE U: Bridgeland's Raffield wraps up preseason (Copyright (c) 2021 VYPE - All rights reserved)

All eyes were on Bridgeland Thursday night as the Berry Center lights spotlighted many Bear athletes' varsity debut in a scrimmage against Katy Tompkins.

After falling short to Rockwall-Heath in the third round of UIL playoffs, Bridgeland head coach David Raffield said goodbye to the last core players from the first varsity squad in the school's existence. Even with new faces in different places, Raffield thinks that this 2021 squad should not be taken lightly.

"There's just something special about this class and this group of kids. I think if everybody just hangs with them while they grow, really good things are gonna happen," Raffield said.

The Bear roster is not only the thing that has seen major remodeling. This summer, Coach Brad Beerwinkel joined the Bridgeland coaching staff as the new defensive coordinator for the season. Raffield has already taken note of the dynamic shift Beerwinkel has made.

"There's some mental things that have taken a step back, but there's some energy level that's gone forward. I understand it takes a little bit to make the changes that we made. But, I really like the direction we're headed in. There's a lot of good plays and some bad plays. But with his advice, I think it's only going to get better," Raffield said.

Bridgeland has maximized their summer camp and last few weeks of scrimmages to their fullest extent trying to ensure their squad is cohesive and dominant. The past 2 scrimmages have consisted of exchanging players in and out to try to find that perfect formula for game time. Raffield thinks that the missing piece to that formula is getting acclimated to the fast-moving environment.

"The biggest thing right now is just the speed of the game, and they're all learning it. However, it's really good because our older kids that did play last year, they play a lot faster. So daily practice with them and being in {the Berry Center} will help make it a learned behavior. That's an area that we're going to continue to work on and get better in as the year goes on," Raffield said.

The Bears will be put to the test next Saturday as they take on Klein Cain televised on ESPNU. Although Raffield sees this as something his team can build off of for the season, he ultimately just wants to see his Bears shine playing the game they love.

"It's going to be hard, because until you've done it one time and been out there, it's different. But when you walk out and they have the big TV cameras and there's TV timeouts and all of that, when you get over the line, it's still just a game of football. So, we'll get through it. I think by the end of next Saturday night, we'll be a 100% better football team."