Bonners Ferry High School
Conference: 3A Intermountain League
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Head Coach: Cory Kramer
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: 12th Season
Record Last Year: 4-5
State Titles: 1975
Sr, QB, Kaleb Stockton
Sr, DB/WR, Isaac Lavalla
Sr, WR/OLB, Evan Wasmere
Sr, RB, Nick Sabin
Sr, LB, Matt Varelman
Sr, WR, Caleb Harrington
Sr, OL, Ethan Erickson
Sr, OL, Carson Umphenour
Sr, DB, Christian Dowell
Sr, DL, David Cossairt
Sr, DL, Mitch Sandal
Jr, TE/DE, Brady Bateman
Jr, OL/DL, Ronnie Craig
Jr, DL, Xavier Boychief
Returning Players with Honors:
Stockton, Sabin, Harrington, Varelman, Lavalla – 1st-team All-IML
Wasmere, Erickson – 2nd-team All-IML
Key Players lost from last year:
K, Jason Shutes (2nd-team All-State)
OL, Mitchell Kramer (1st-team All-IML)
OL/DL, Evan Ellis, Chris English, Caleb Gering and Kyle Pintler
Photo By: Loren Orr - #12 Kaleb Stockton
Incoming impact players:
Jr, RB, Anthony Minor
Sr, WR/DB, Kevin Abel
Written by: Will Hoenike
For several years, the football teams in the 3A Intermountain League have been chasing the same top dog – Timberlake.
The Tigers have won at least six consecutive IML titles, winning every league game along the way. This fall, the Bonners Ferry Badgers are hoping there can be a changing of the proverbial guard in the IML.
“Obviously, Timberlake s the cream of the crop in the IML and the rest of us have played second fiddle to them for a while,” second-year Badger coach Cory Kramer told IdahoSports.com. “The key is to play our game in league and be who we are. We have everything it takes to be league champs.”
For Bonners Ferry, it starts with a slew of skill-position players returning from last year’s team, which reached the 3A state playoffs. Leading the way is All-IML quarterback Kaleb Stockton. As a junior, Stockton helped the Badgers to back-to-back IML wins over Kellogg and Priest River to qualify for the state playoffs.
But he was not alone. Senior running back Nick Sabin also received all-league honors, as did receiver Caleb Harrington and lineman Ethan Erickson. They’re all back for their senior season on the offensive side of the football. Junior RB Anthony Minor and senior WR Kevin Abel should also contribute offensively for Bonners Ferry and senior OL Carson Umphenour also returns.
“We really have to focus on spreading the ball around, they’re all legitimate playmakers,” Kramer continued. “Biggest challenge will be rebuilding our (offensive) line. We have the guys, just a matter of getting them in the right places.”
Defensively, it was a mixed bag of results for the Badgers last season. The same defense that limited its first three opponents to just 38 total points then surrendered 68 in week four.
“Our (defensive) line needs to be disciplined and do their jobs and we will be a solid defense who can create turnovers and really get after our opposition,” Kramer said. “We have to be able to pressure the backfield.”
Linebacker Matt Varelman, linebacker Evan Wasmere and defensive back Isaac Lavalla are all back for their senior seasons for Kramer’s defense, along with defensive linemen David Cossairt and Mitch Sandal and defensive back Christian Dowell. Juniors Brady Bateman (DE), Ronnie Craig (DL) and Xavier Boychief (DL) will look to step into more prominent roles this fall as well.
“We did a lot of good things last year,” Kramer concluded. “All of our seniors have been starters since they were sophomores. This is a very talented group of kids that knows they left a lot out on the field last year. They have the talent to go a long ways and, with a few changes on both sides of the ball, I’m really excited to see where we go.”
One challenge the Badgers face is the schedule – only three of the team’s nine games will be at home and two of the team’s three IML games will be on the road.
The team plays at Timberlake and Kellogg in IML play before wrapping up the regular season with a league matchup against old rival Priest River.