Bartlett feeling Golden in California
Sometimes a road contest is simple. Sometimes there's more traveling involved. And sometimes you have Bartlett's weekend.
The Golden Bears, the CIC's defending champions, will get a stiff test Friday night after they venture 3,000 miles away from home to face Pleasant Valley High School, a California state champion in Chico.
"We're very excited. This game is going to test us a lot and it's going to get us better for our league and this state." said junior Hunter Cargill.
Co-head coach Dan Esparza agrees. But this trip is more than about just football. They'll go see a San Francisco Giants game, and another high-school football contest. They'll also stop by the old stomping grounds of two of their coaches.
Co-head coach Jon Jessen attended high school in Sacramento and an assistant coach is from Chico and went to Butte College.
"We're going too explore around" said Esparza.
While they know the task ahead is tough, the opportunity to bond will be important.
"We love each other's vibe that everyone gives off." said Esparza. "As we become closer as a team, so does our friendships."
The Golden Bears almost ended up in Hawaii. But when that trip fell through, Esparza recounted what Jessen told him. "We were like that loser guy at the prom just asking everybody out and first girl that says 'yes,' that's who he's going with."
Now they're dancing.
And Cargill is excited that they might draw some quality beach time too.
"Put on the swim trunks and swim."
Just remember that Pacific Ocean water, especially in northern California, is a far cry from the Caribbean.
Game time is 7 p.m. Friday in Chico. The air temperature is expected be in the mid 70's at kickoff.