In recent seasons the Granbury Pirate football program has become a regular in the postseason.
Players such as Caleb Bendewald are the major reason.
Bendewald, a recent GHS graduate, has one more game to play representing the Pirates. He has been chosen to play in Saturday’s North American All-Star’s North Texas East/West Classic.
The third annual game features all-district players from Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex schools. It will be played at Pennington Field in Bedford and kicks off at 7 p.m.
“It’s an honor, really cool,” said Bendewald of the selection. “I am very excited to represent Granbury. I can’t wait.”
Bendewald played inside linebacker for the Pirates and earned first-team All-District 7-4A honors. He was also named the team’s Most Valuable Player and received the Johnny Perkins Award, named in memory of the late former Pirate and New York Giants wide receiver.
“We are so proud, and there is no one more deserving than Caleb,” said Pirate head coach Scotty Pugh of the selection. “He has been a great player for the Pirates and has earned this recognition.”
Bendewald will be playing for the West Team. He is also hoping his performance will draw the attention of college coaches who will likely be in attendance.
“This all-star game is a chance for me to get seen by some bigger schools,” he said.
Bendewald has received several offers from smaller schools, but said he isn’t committing until after this game.
The Pirates went more than three decades without a bidistrict appearance before breaking through in 2010. They followed with two more appearances in 2011 and 2012, and are seeking to match the 1965-68 squads by reaching four straight seasons.
The 2012 team finished 7-4, the most victories since 1998.
“Granbury has always had the heart,” Bendewald said. “Now we have improved on that dramatically and expect to be in the playoffs.
“We’re not the biggest, or the fastest, but we work the hardest, and we’ve got great coaches and a won’t quit attitude.
“I am very proud that I was a part of getting us back to the playoffs and establishing a new tradition. Granbury football is only going to get better and better.”
Bendewald’s selection marks the second consecutive season in which Granbury will be represented in the elite contest. Last season the Pirates had five players chosen, including running back Brandon Davis, wide receiver/defensive back Connor Green, offensive/defensive linemen (and twin brothers) Jason and Johnny Shepard, and defensive lineman Joe Brewer.
Davis now plays for NCAA Division I Louisiana Tech.
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