Bonneville High School
Conference: 5A District 5-6 Conference
Share preview with friends!
Head Coach: Matt Virgil
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 7 years at Moscow, 3 years at Deary
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: None
Kehari Harrigfeld, TE/DE, 12
Kolby Tamayo, WR/DB, 12
Trevor McDonald, RB/DB, 12
Jayden Howell, WR/DB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Kehari Harrigfeld – All-Conference
Kolby Tamayo – All-Conference DB
Photo By: Brad Barlow - #85 Kehari Harrigfeld
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The Bonneville Bees slumped to a 1-8 record last year and a fifth place finish in the conference, just ahead of winless Idaho Falls. It was the second straight losing season for Bonneville, which finished just 2-7 the year prior. After then-head coach Fred Armstrong announced his resignation, the search was on for the next head coach – one who was focused on rebuilding the program.
That coach turned out to be Matt Virgil, who had previously coached on football staffs in Deary and Moscow. And, despite the poor record that the Bees had churned out over the past couple of seasons, Virgil is quite upbeat about the prospects of his program.
“Most of the time when you take over a program, you’re starting from the bottom of the barrel,” he told the Post Register back in January. “That’s not the case here. There’s a lot of talent coming up.”
Offensively, Virgil says that his wide receivers and quarterbacks have done an excellent job understanding the new offense.
“Our quarterbacks have grasped our offense and are doing a good job of reading what the defense is giving us,” he said. “It’s been great seeing the players gain confidence in what we are doing schematically.”
The coach acknowledged that having success in running the ball would be key to their season. The Bees struggled in 2015 to move the ball via the ground game. They averaged only 11.7 points per game last year. However, Virgil pointed to a strength that they hope to lean on quite a bit this season to help boost that number.
“We have a lot of height on the outside,” he said. “Our wide receivers range from 6’3” to 6’5”.”
The Bees bring back senior Kehari Harrigfeld at tight end, seniors Jayden Howell and Kolby Tamayo at wide receiver, and senior Trevor McDonald at running back. Those players give Bonneville a good starting point in establishing their new offense. Their success on offense will really depend on how fast the offensive line comes together, according to Virgil.
“I think any team’s success is based on the offensive line,” he said. “We will go as far as they can take us. I have a lot of confidence in the guys up front and they will set the tone for us.”
Defensively, the Bees hope to be aggressive and force opposing teams to play well outside of their comfort zone, especially if they are a pass-happy offense.
“We have a veteran group of defensive backs returning,” said Virgil. “That leadership, combined with Kehari up front at defensive end should allow us to play aggressively.”
Tamayo was an All-Conference defensive back a year ago and will be joined by Howell and McDonald in the secondary. The defense gave up an average of 39.6 points per game last season.
Virgil’s motto for the team this season is rather simple: compete.
“We are trying to get the players to compete on every down and every practice and game,” he said. “We are not focused on the results… we can control if we compete on every down. If we compete every down, the results will take care of themselves.”
The Bees will open the season at home on August 26th against Idaho Falls, a team that is also improving from last year and the only team that Bonneville beat in 2015. Bonneville then gets a good test in Boise as they travel to play Timberline at Dona Larson Park on September 3rd. The Bees then get the luxury of five straight home games, as they face archrival Hillcrest in the 25th ‘Civil War’, followed by contests against Skyline, Minico, Highland, and Canyon Ridge. They finish out the season on the road at Madison and at Rigby.
With Idaho Falls and Skyline dropping to 4A this season, the new-look 5A District 5-6 conference consists of Highland, Madison, Hillcrest, and Rigby. Virgil says that the league is tough from top to bottom.
“I think Highland has to be on top of the list as the front runner,” he said. “They seem to reload every year. I think that Madison is going to be good as well.” He added that the ‘Civil War’ against Hillcrest was the must-see game of the year, not only for the rivalry but because it’s their first conference game of the year and that the game could have a potential impact on which teams make the playoffs.”
Virgil is excited for the season ahead and the opportunity to get Bonnevilles’s program back on track.
“We have a great group of kids with a lot of potential. I am excited to see how high of a ceiling we have.”
He added that he enjoys the opportunity to lead young men and teach them how to be good members of society.
“A lot of coaching is about creating good citizens,” he said.
“When I see former players, most of the conversations revolve around lessons they learned through football. I get a lot of pride when I see former players being successful in life and especially those that get into coaching because of the mentors they had as coaches.”