Milton High grad Bethay will be at Camp Randall

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

It’s been four years since Milton High graduate Katon Bethay was on the sidelines for a Wofford College football game.

He’s going to get reacquainted with the Terriers on Saturday.

Bethay, who earned honors while playing nose tackle at Wofford, will be on the Terriers’ sideline when his former team takes on Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium.

“Wofford asked me to come up,” Bethay said in a phone interview Tuesday night. “I’m going to see a lot of Milton boys. It should be a lot of fun.”

Bethay is living in Baton Rouge, La., with his parents, who moved there from Milton. He starts a job as a supervisor for a Best Buy store in New Orleans next week.

He’s looking forward to his last “free” weekend, especially since it’s a double homecoming.

In his senior season in 2005 at Wofford, Bethay was the Southern Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, a first-team Academic All-America pick and a first-team choice in the American Football Coaches Association All-America selections.

Wofford is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA). Despite being a step below NCAA Division I, both FCS members Cal Poly and The Citadel have given the Badgers a struggle before losing in the past two seasons.

Bethay believes his alma mater could do the same to the Badgers on Saturday.

“Wisconsin is easily twice as big as Wofford,” Bethay said. “But Wofford isn’t going to make many mistakes. They could frustrate Wisconsin. They run the Wing-T and are very patient.

“They’ll take three yards. They don’t look for huge gains. While they’re undersized, they are not going to make many mistakes.”

After graduating from Wofford in 2006, Bethay has played in the af2, an arena football league. He played with the Spokane Shock and helped the team win the 2006 league championship.

Bethay became one of the most popular players on the team. Known as “The Polar Bear,” a name a Wofford assistant gave him, Bethay starred on both the defensive line and at fullback for the Shock.

In one af2 playoff game in 2008, Bethay was selected as the Schutt’s Offensive Player of the Game after he rushed for 57 yards (7.1 ypc) with three touchdowns.

But Bethay tore his the ACL in his left knee during a preseason scrimmage before this season. He sat out the season, and is considering his future in pro football.

“It all depends on the knee,” Bethay said. “If the knee is good, I’m definitely coming back. If it’s not quite good enough, I’m doing the retiring thing.”

It was the second time Bethay had torn the ACL in the knee. The first time occurred while wrestling at Milton High. Bethay was a standout in football, wrestling and track and field for the Red Hawks.

Despite the high school injury, Bethay went on to Wofford and played all four years with the torn ACL.

While in Spokane, Bethay was a personal trainer. He had up to 60 clients, including high school athletes and four college football players from Spokane.

The 25-year-old Bethay is looking for a career, and he looks forward to his Best Buy position, although he also is interested in getting into coaching. He was an assistant for a Spokane high school football team, and Wofford has approached him about an assistant coaching job.

He’ll get his first taste of that Saturday.

Last updated: 11:21 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

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