Bear Lake High School
Conference: 2A South East Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Ryan Messerly
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Five years as Bear Lake JV coach
Record Last Year: 4-5
Mason Garbett, RB/FS, 12
Sam Roberts, RB/LB, 12
Cannon Hayes, OT/DT, 12
Josh Transtrum, RB/OLB, 12
Kasin Parker ,OT/MLB, 12
Kayden Romrell, RB/CB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Cannon Hayes – First Team All-Conference
Josh Transtrum – First Team All-Conference
Kayden Romrell – First Team All-Conference
Mason Garbett – First Team All-Conference
Kasin Parker – Second Team All-Conference
Sam Roberts – Second Team All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
Theron Wallentine, WR/DE
Jentz Quintaro, RB/CB
Daymon Shaul, QB/OLB
Bridger Steele, TE/DE
Incoming impact players:
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
For the fourth straight season, Bear Lake was unable to get out of the play-in round of the state football playoffs. The Bears fell to West Jefferson 30-26 in Terreton to end the season. However, 2016 might finally be the year that Bear Lake advances past the play-in round – and potentially goes even farther.
The Bears bring back a wealth of talent and experience from last year’s squad which posted a 4-5 record and finished third in the 2A South East Idaho Conference. Second year head coach Ryan Messerly says that talent has only become stronger over the summer.
“We’ve had more athletes in the weight room than ever before this summer,” he said. “They have worked hard all summer long.”
Messerly continues to mold the culture at Bear Lake and work to turn the program into a contender. The payoff potentially could be coming this season with one of the best crops of football athletes that the small school in Montpelier has seen in a long time.
On offense, the Bears only have to replace a few starters as quarterback Daymon Shaul, wide receiver Theron Wallentine, running back Jentz Quintaro and tight end Bridger Steele have moved on. Messerly highlighted the lack of change up front.
“We only lost one offensive lineman from last year, so we will have a very experienced line,” he said. “We are also going to have good experience in the backfield.”
Bear Lake returns the four-headed monster of seniors Mason Garbett, Sam Roberts, Josh Transtrum, and Kayden Romrell at running back. They will be responsible for a good amount of offensive production this year. Cannon Hayes and Kasin Parker will lead the line for the Bears.
“I also believe that Hayden Peterson, Huston Peterson, Walt Schwarting, and Avery Carlson could be impact players for us this year too,” Messerly said.
Defensively, many of the same faces will play both ways and make their presence known. Garbett and Romrell will lead out in the secondary, with Roberts, Parker, and Transtrum locking down the linebacking core. Hayes will anchor the defensive line.
“We will have a solid year defensively,” said Messerly. “We have a really good mix of speed and strength this season.”
The coach added that he cannot wait to see the work in the offseason pay dividends on the field this fall.
“I’m most excited to see how all of their hard work in the weight room last year and this summer with our strength coach will translate on the field,” he said.
Bear Lake will get their opportunity soon enough. The Bears only play a seven-game schedule this season, however it starts with a bang right off the bat. Bear Lake will take on Rich High School out of Utah, a perennial 1A power in the Beehive State on August 26th. After a bye week, the Bears welcome 3A South Fremont to Montpelier on September 9th. Bear Lake will then take another bye week before travelling to Arimo to play the Marsh Valley Eagles.
Conference play then opens up with a home date against West Side, road games against Malad and Soda Springs, and one final home contest against Aberdeen. Messerly and his kids know the stakes of playing in the 2A South East Idaho Conference.
“The Fifth District is one of the strongest in the state. Aberdeen and West Side always go deep into the playoffs,” he said. “Aberdeen is still the top dog. Our must win games of the season are against West Side and Aberdeen.”
Opposing coaches in the conference are all well aware of the potential of Bear Lake. All of them said to the Preview that they expect the Bears to compete well, with a couple saying that they may well be the team to beat this year. It’s high praise for a program from opponents – but Messerly knows that, despite the talk, his team has to play well each and every night.
“For us, execution is the ‘X-Factor’ to our season,” he said.
The team is excited for the prospects of a good season. The expectations from within and those on the outside has never been higher. Those expectations are evident in the chosen theme for the Bears this year.
“Champions play as ONE.”
Indeed, Bear Lake won’t just be satisfied if they can win the conference or get out of the first round at the state tournament. They want to, and believe they can, win it all.