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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
The final BVarsity Live show of the 2013-14 school year aired Thursday in the Dignity Health Studios at The Californian.
Co-hosts Zach Ewing, Justin Roberts and Louis Amestoy brought in Bakersfield High football coach Paul Golla and four of his star players.
Golla, who has been at the helm of the Drillers since 2005 and has won four section championships in his tenure, said his players and coaching staff are preparing months in advance of their opening game in August.
BHS has one of the toughest schedules for a Kern County school in recent memory, opening its season with five tough non-league games before jumping into the meat-grinder known as the Southwest Yosemite League. The Drillers will play Westlake Village-Oaks Christian, Fresno-Edison, L.A.-Crenshaw, Ridgeview and L.A.-Bishop Salesian. The squad will then jump into SWYL action, which, considering the addition of Garces, figures to be very competitive.
Golla said that with the Drillers' recent successes, it now was easier to schedule Southern Section teams than in previous years.
The second BVarsity segment featured rising Driller seniors Lameshio Hill and Marcus Bruce, two key players from last year's state title run. Bruce was particularly animated, calling the aftermath of the the 2013 state championship win "the greatest moment of my life." He also talked about filling the leadership gap left by the graduating seniors, saying he would take the lessons he learned and become role models for younger teammates.
Hill added that he doesn't feel any leadership pressure, because he knows it's not a singular load. He said that though the team's schedule is challenging, he and his teammates will be ready.
Teammates Nigel Brooks and Coleman Olivas reminisced about their state-championship experiences, saying one of the most memorable parts was seeing the support from the Bakersfield community in the stands and on social media.
Brooks detailed the team's summer practice routine, which has players practicing from 5:50 a.m.-8 a.m. followed by video and weights.
In the final segment of the year, the co-hosts quickly ranked their top 10 Kern County football teams heading into the season, with BHS, Bakersfield Christian, Liberty, Frontier and Centennial more or less the consensus top 5.