Freitas, Way shine for South Fork Cubs in overtime loss

By Ray Hamill — It’s been a challenging return to 11-player football so far this season for the South Fork Cubs.

The South Fork players have dropped a pair of games to open the new campaign, losing their opener against Fort Bragg two weeks ago and falling to Hoopa in double-overtime on Saturday afternoon.

There certainly has been some bright spots for the Cubs with a handful of players impressing and numbers have not been a problem for a program that has been competing mostly in eight-person football for the past six years.

A lack of football experience, however, has been a concern at certain positions as several South Fork players adjust to the new level.

“I think our biggest opponent is ourselves right now,” head coach Karl Terrell said after Saturday’s 28-20 double-overtime loss to Hoopa.

Players like Justin Freitas and Wesley Way have looked good early on and the talented duo combined for almost 250 yards rushing against the Warriors.

Way ran for 187 yards on 20 carries for a very impressive 9.4 average, while Freitas had 59 yards rushing on 11 carries.

Quarterback Shevy Bero-Vanmeter also made some noise in the loss, completing 11 of 15 passes for 171 yards and a TD, while also rushing for 75 yards on eight carries and another TD.

Senior receiver Brock Contreras also has been an early bright spot for the Cubs and pulled in four catches for 68 yards against Hoopa.

Way also had four catches for 36 yards to round out a good all-around day, while Freitas and sophomore John Stafslien each had a TD catch.

Freitas was equally effective on the defensive side of the ball and was in on a team-best 13 tackles, including five solo.

Trevor Hunt added nine total tackles, while Bero-Vanmeter had eight, Caleb Morris had seven, and Lucas Genolio and Travis Way each finished with six.

Way and Bero-Vanmeter each also had an interception and Genolio recovered a Hoopa fumble.

The Cubs will continue a five-game stretch playing against 11-player programs when they travel to play Ferndale on Saturday afternoon.

They will return to eight-person football for league play over the second half of the season.

The return of youth football to Southern Humboldt this fall for the first time in several years should help the high school program in the years ahead.

For more on the Warriors, see Offensive line, back-ups step up for Hoopa in key win …

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