Matsakis' mystery Swedes open at home Saturday

By Steve Sell
September 05, 2014

LINDSBORG — The Bethany College Swedes easily qualify as the KCAC’s football team most shrouded in mystery.

Bethany kicks off its season Saturday night hosting Southwestern Assemblies of God (SAGU to most folks) at 6 p.m. at Anderson Stadium.

Nobody really knows what to expect from the Swedes. Second-year coach Manny Matsakis has had a full year of recruiting under his belt and no KCAC team has brought in more newcomers.

Matsakis was a cool customer at KCAC Media Day. He was very low-key about his new players, just saying he still had a young team that he hoped would improve every game.

The former Emporia State head coach and two-stint assistant to Bill Snyder at Kansas State is hoping to incorporate his well-documented “Triple-Shoot” offense that was supposed to revolutionize the KCAC last year, only to be scrapped when the quarterback situation became dire due to injuries.

Look for this year’s Swedes to in no way resemble the team that crashed and burned to 2-9 last year, ending the season on a disheartening note with a loss to lowly Bethel, the Threshers’ only KCAC win of the year.

From all reports, heralded transfer Virgil Bridges is finally ready to assume the quarterback controls, with a pair of sledgehammer backs at his disposal in Dominique Ferrell and Raahmil Brantley. And no team has more receivers on his roster than Matsakis, who will unleash a flurry of smallish speedsters who need little room to operate.

The Swedes’ defense really didn’t perform that poorly last year, but spent a lot of time on the field due to the offensive inefficiency. There are several newcomers who should make an impact.