Bonneville High School
Conference: 5A District 5-6 Conference
Head Coach: Fred Armstrong
Years as Head Coach: 5th Season
Previous Experience: 24 years overall with college, pro internships and Europe.
Record Last Year: 2-7
State Titles: None
Dustin Medlin – Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator
Ron Piper – Associate Head Coach/Linebackers
Zarrick Wadsworth – Defensive Line
Travis Saxton – Quarterbacks
Jeff Cooper – Wide Receivers
John Tucker – Tight Ends
Zach Nelson – Linebackers
Clay Smith – Defensive Line
Mark Asper – Offensive Line/Run Game Coordinator
Joe Tamayo – Video Coordinator
Trevor McDonald, RB, Junior
AJ Nakashima, RB, Senior
Kolby Tamayo, DB
Returning Players with Honors:
Kolby Tamayo, DB – Honorable Mention All-Conference DB
Photo By: Brad Barlow - #12 Trevor McDonald
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
Just a few seasons ago in 2012, the Bonneville Bees came within two points and a few yards of a 4A state championship game appearance before falling to Middleton.
In 2013, Bonneville came out on the losing end of a tiebreaker that kept them out of the state playoffs.
Last season, a young cast of players with little to no varsity experience stumbled to a 2-7 overall record.
It’s just a reminder of the ebbs and flows of the success and doldrums of high school football.
What’s in store for 2015?
First things first, let’s take a look at who is coming back. That includes veteran head coach Fred Armstrong, now in his 5th season leading the Bees and in his 24th year overall of coaching. At his time in Iona, Armstrong has led the program to a 19-19 overall record.
Also returning is junior running back Trevor McDonald and senior tailback AJ Nakashima. Armstrong hopes to keep those two healthy and use them to the Bees’ full advantage.
“We need to be able to run the football like we have since 2011,” he said. “Last year we were rather poor in that department.”
Armstrong mentioned that there are about three to five guys back on the team this year with varsity experience from 2014.
“We are a very young team that is building for the next three seasons,” he said. “We could surprise some people though as our kids are hard and tough.”
The coach continued on saying that their key on offense was fewer turnovers and being able to run the football well enough to set up the passing game.
Defensively, the Bees want to improve in three areas over last season in hopes of improving not only their record, but also their 33.8 points against per game average.
“We are looking to improve our overall tackling, our ability to force turnovers, and not giving up explosive plays,” said Armstrong, who added that ‘winning on 3rd down’ was a strength heading into the season.
Back with the Bees on defense is All-Conference honorable mention defensive back Kolby Tamayo. He will be looked to for guidance in the secondary.
On the lines, Bonneville will need to quickly find their traction. Most of the starters on the line graduated from last year. The program hopes to be able to lean on the experience of new line coach Mark Asper, who is currently in training camp with the NFL’s New England Patriots.
Armstrong asked Asper to join his coaching staff in early July, which he agreed to do. But when Asper’s agent called him saying he had a training camp offer, he took the opportunity. According to the Post Register, should Asper not make the regular Patriots roster he will ‘absolutely’ be welcomed back at Bonneville.
Bonneville’s schedule in 2015 is no easier than it was last year. The Bees open up on the road in the Denver, Colorado suburb of Highlands Ranch against powerhouse Valor Christian, who missed out on a sixth straight Colorado 5A state championship by one point to Cherry Creek.
Armstrong is not afraid of playing games against high-caliber opponents – this will be the Bees second matchup against Valor Christian in just over a year. Bonneville also played Utah powerhouse Bingham on national television in 2013.
“We have to get to the next level of play. Playing these types of teams, talking to these coaches and players getting together, all of that rubs off on your team,” he said to the Post Register last August. “For us to get to the level we want to be at, our players need to see that firsthand on the football field.”
It’s about building an overall program for Armstrong, not just fielding a good varsity team. He wants Bonneville to establish the processes that allow teams to be successful for years to come.
“We will build it,” he said. “We had 125 GridKid players when I arrived at Bonneville in 2011. Now, that number is up to 300.”
Following the Bees’ trip to Colorado, they return home to host conference opponent Madison on September 4th. They then travel across town to take on Skyline before a trip down Highway 91 to perennial 3A contender Shelley.
Following the opening four-game slate, Bonneville finishes out the season with 4-of-5 games at home, as the Bees host Rigby, travel to Blackfoot, then complete the regular season with games at Thunder Stadium against Hillcrest, Idaho Falls, and Highland.
The Bees have their vision in place and they are hoping to reap the benefits of their experience gained on the field last season. With a young core in place, they feel they have the pieces beginning to come into place to turn some heads in eastern Idaho.