FRONTENAC — Frontenac’s Cal Strand and Trey Harris took the next step in their football careers by signing letters of intent to play at the collegiate level on Wednesday inside Frontenac HIgh School.

Strand will be going to Bethel College in the fall as a defensive end and a long snapper, while Harris will be the kicker and punter for Coffeyville Community College.

“It’s a really good feeling,” Strand said. “I’ve worked really hard the past four years and I just wanted to play at the next level. I finally got that opportunity with Bethel and I jumped on it.”

Strand said he chose Bethel because it was everything he was looking for.

“They have really nice coaches and nice facilities,” Strand said. “Coaches have just kept in touch with me and I really liked the school’s academics as well. I just fell in love with the school.”

Strand’s talent, intensity and leadership may not be fully replaceable on the Raiders’ roster, but FHS football head coach Mark Smith said he’s happy to see one of his own get an opportunity to compete at the next level.

“Cal has been a great leader for us as the team captain,” Smith said. “He was a two-year starter for us and we’ve enjoyed a lot of success because of him. He’s always positive and I know he’s going work hard to make us proud.”

Although Strand’s journey is far from over, he said he’ll never forget his time in with the Raiders.

“It was a time well spent,” Strand said. “I love every single one of my teammates and coaches. Leaving is going to be hard and I’m going to miss them all. It was just really fun.”

As for Harris, his dedication to the kicking game landed him a spot with the Red Ravens.

“It’s a big opportunity for me to further my kicking and punting talent,” Harris said. “I’m looking to go on and play somewhere after Coffeyville, but I hope I can fit in well during my time there. I hope I can just keep my work ethic high and take the opportunity to further my education and playing career.”

Kicker and punter may not be the most popular position, but Harris said he found joy in doing it, and used his strong leg to make a big impact on games for the Raiders.

“He’s worked really hard on kicking and punting,” Smith said. “He’s been to several camps and has improved greatly throughout the years. Coffeyville is very fortunate to land such a great kicker and an even better person. We’re looking forward to seeing them succeed and this is just a great day for Frontenac.”

— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at jbuckamneer@morningsun.net and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.