A Preseason Bet Turns Lobos Coach Into Grizzly Adams

Longview defensive coordinator John Berry is a little worried.  He made a bet that is threatening to get out of hand.

"We made a bet with him that, he can't cut his beard until we lose," said senior strong safety Cartez Beall.

"As long as we keep winning, he's going to keep letting it grow," added senior running back Vondrell McGee.

And win they have.  Even with two state finalists and two state champions on the schedule, the Lobos have met all challenges.

"If I had thought we'd have gone through that first four or five games undefeated I'd have agreed to anything," said Berry.

"He gets a lot of trouble, especially from his wife," joked McGee.

But winning is trouble you don't mind putting up with. In fact, the beard has become sort of a rallying cry for the defense.

"Every Monday, when we're in film, it's no razor yet coach," said Berry.

The Lobos are showing that last year's 10-0 season was no fluke, and this year's team may be even better.

"They know what it takes to play at this level week in and week out," said head coach John King.  "We're real fortunate with that. Good players make good teams."

"We want it bad," adds Beall.  "We lost last year to Lufkin in the third round and that was dissapointing. This year, we going to bring it all the way this year."

And that's why coach Berry is worried, because if the Lobos win a state championship, Berry doesn't get to shave his beard.

"He'd have to have it for the whole next season next year," said Beall.

"Well, a deal is a deal," said Berry, "so it'll be awhile I guess before I can maybe talk them out of that, but hopefully if we win a state championship, they'll feel good enough in January they'll let me shave it."

The Lobos have started calling him "Grizzly Adams".  They open the playoffs Saturday at 2:00pm against South Garland at Mesquite's Memorial Stadium.

Kevin Berns reporting.