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Beth-Center ready to defend Tri-County South title

| Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
Eric Schmadel | Tribune-Review
Beth Center running back Matt Riggle takes a handoff from Gino Faieta at camp on August 13, 2013 in Fredricktown.

Despite losing several key graduates from last season's team which won the Class A Tri-County South Conference, Beth-Center isn't entering this season in a rebuilding phase.

Depth, in fact, will be a strength, especially at the skill positions.

Coach Ed Woods has a strong, talented group of running backs, highlighted by three-year starter Matt Riggle, who also will anchor the defense at free safety.

“He's a kid who works very hard and has a lot of experience,” Woods said. “He is a really smart player and most importantly is a true team player. He's not selfish at all and knows the game. He sets a great example for the younger guys to follow.”

Woods expects Riggle to get some assistance, which should keep him fresh late in games.

“We have about four or five backs who we are comfortable getting the ball,” Woods said.

Senior Gino Faieta (6-foot-3, 226 pounds) returns at quarterback and provides the Bulldogs with that what Woods calls tremendous leadership.

“Gino is like having another coach on the field,” Woods said. “He knows the offense and knows how to lead the team.”

Graduation decimated the offensive and defensive lines.

“We have some younger guys ready to step in, and they've worked extremely hard over the offseason,” Woods said.

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