Travis Brett takes over Catty football program
Travis Brett watched and waited.
He is one of the few coaches in the Catasauqua football community who has either coached or befriended the majority of players who have passed through the program at the 130-pound level through high school.
In recent years, Brett had entertained thoughts about taking over the varsity program, as he had served as the junior high head coach for the past six years.
Now, his time has come.
Brett recently was approved by the school board as the school’s new head football coach. He will replace Mike McClarin, who resigned after two years and a 1-21 record.
“I have had some thoughts about it,” said Brett, who is a 1992 Catty grad and caught the winning touchdown in the Thanksgiving Day game that season. “When it opened, I knew I wanted to give it a shot.
“At one point or another, I have had these kids. From the current bunch, I had at least 10 or probably more of them.”
Athletic director Tom Moll is confident he made the right choice. The Rough Riders have won 10 games in the last six years.
“I am really happy for Travis (Brett) and his family,” said Moll. “Despite not coaching at the varsity level, Travis has a lot of coaching experience and he’s a Rough Rider who knows our kids.
“We need to energize the football program again and there’s no one who loves Catty football more than Travis. We are looking forward to Travis and his staff getting started.”
Brett began his career in the Catty youth program at the 130-pound level and worked his way to his last stop. Over the past two years, Brett has guided the crown jewel of the program. He has produced consecutive, undefeated seasons and had an overall 28-2 mark over a three-season span.
“I had a championship team down at the 130s and we had a heckava team the past two years,” said Brett. “I can see some of those guys coming in as freshmen this fall and being ready to contribute.
“Looking back at the last two years, talent and potential were there, but there wasn’t a work ethic.”
Brett has made some phone calls to begin assembling his staff, and he expects it to definitely have a Catty aroma to it. The Roughies lost five seniors from their 0-11 season, but Brett envisions some major roles for senior linemen Mason Hess, Tyler Monahan, and Doug Scott. Freshman running back Anthonie Husnicker figures prominently in the plans.
“We’ll be a run-heavy offense, and we will get away from the wing offense,” noted Brett. “We have to be more disciplined as that was missing. Hunsicker will be a big part of the offense, and the kids are excited about the program.
“We have interest back in the program and our numbers will be better. The older kids have to be good role models for the younger ones again. Our sixth graders have to want to be like an upperclassman again.”
One of his players will be his youngest son, Austin, who will be a senior and a likely quarterback candidate. The youngest Brett, who was a quarterback as a sophomore, didn’t play last season to concentrate on wrestling.
He knows what to expect. Ironically, Austin was on an 18-0 team that won a Biddy baseball championship under the guidance of his father.
“He (his father) really knows how to win, and always knows what he is talking about,” said the youngest Brett. “He has been my coach throughout my life and always pushed you to be your best.”
Older brother, Andrew, a 2017 Catty grad, began his quarterback career under his father, and was part of a 130-pound team that won a title with him as head coach. Andrew, who was in the Moravian football program, likely will help his father on the sidelines.
“I’m really happy and excited for him,” said the older Brett. “He is a great coach and motivator. He really helped me become a quarterback when we were together in junior high.
“All of his ex-players still keep in contact with him and everyone looks up to and respects him.”
Brett also is enthused about the Roughies playing in the new Colonial-Schuylkill merged league this fall. The Roughies have road trips to Schuylkill Haven, Marian Catholic, Palmerton, Mahanoy and Pine Grove.
“It will be good to see some new teams and play on some new fields,” stated Brett. “I have spent the last few years preparing for Colonial League teams.
“It is going to be fun, and there will be a few late nights ahead.”
With a winning pedigree and opportunistic outlook, Brett also should have some positives nights ahead.