Written by Dylan Carder, Sports Director KIFI/KIDK
It was a young team that took the field for the Bear Lake Bears in 2018. They started off fast with a win in week one against Rich out of Utah, but didn't win again all season. That team have very few seniors.
In 2019, the Bears are bringing just about everyone back. Head coach Ryan Messerly expects his squad to build on the chemistry they built together last season, but this time around he says his team is going to be bigger, faster and stronger.
Owen Tuecher returns at the quarterback position. The Bears also return a quartet of guys you play both ways at the high impact positions of running back and linebacker. Kody King, Jaxon Garbett, Matthew Hammond, and Tiagen Criswell are all back to wreak havoc on both sides of the ball. Brendon Burbank is a player moving up to varsity that Messerly believes could make an impact at those positions this season. A couple of other two way players are back in uniform for Bear Lake. James Alleman and Aston Carlson play both wide receiver and defensive back.
Entering his sixth season as varsity coach, Messerly says he wants his team to start fast on offense. Another aspect he will be focusing on is how he wants his players to pay attention to details. Executing every play will be key for the Bears success. He says he wants his players to “trust the process” on offense and play their game.
He maintains a similar philosophy on defense, where he says fast starts are going to be important for their success on that side of the ball. This is a team that gave up more 35 points or more in six of their eight games last season. Meanwhile, they scored more than 30 just once.
The Bears will have a chance to get off to fast start with their first two games at home, including a rematch with Rich to get the new season started on August 30th. Trips to South Fremont and Aberdeen will be followed by three straight in Montpelier when Marsh Valley, Soda Springs, and Malad come to town. The finish off the regulars season on the road in Dayton to face West Side.
Bear Lake is an older, more experienced team in 2019. That combined with another year of chemistry together will give the Bears a chance to improve on last season's record and possibly find a way into the 2A post season.