Bonners Ferry High School
Conference: 3A Intermountain League
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Head Coach: Cory Kramer
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: 13 Seasons
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: 1975
RB/LB Anthony Minor (Sr)
QB/DE Chris Sabin (Sr)
FB/DL Jessie Sandelin (Sr)
OL/DL Ronnie Craig (Sr)
OL/DL Kendall Stone (Sr)
OL/DL Hunter Hiatt (Sr)
RB/LB Allan Rios (Sr)
RB/LB Donavan Varelman (Jr)
LB Jesse Bradley (Jr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Sabin, Minor, Craig and Stone all second-team All-IML
Key Players lost from last year:
RB Nick Sabin, WR Isaac Lavala, OL Ethan Erickson were all first-team All-IML; Kaleb Stockton (2nd-team All-IML) veteran starter at QB.
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #77 Ronnie Craig
Incoming impact players:
QB Chris Sabin, RB Anthony Minor, OL/DL Ronnie Craig will all see increased roles on both sides of the ball.
Written by: Will Hoenike
The Bonners Ferry Badgers came into the 2016 season expecting to contend for an Intermountain League title. The team was coming off a 3A state playoff appearance the year before and returned a number of talented, key players.
Unfortunately for Badger fans, it just didn’t pan out that way as the team struggled to find consistency on both sides of the football en route to a 1-8 finish. The team’s 34-6 win over Kellogg late in the regular season was the only time all season Bonners Ferry topped 28 points on offense or held an opponent under 21 points on defense.
But 2017 is a new season and head coach Cory Kramer is excited about the prospects of his team, starting up front with a talented and experienced offensive and defensive line.
“Our strength should be our O-line, anchored by (Ronnie) Craig, (Kendall) Stone and (Hunter) Hiatt,” Kramer said, adding that the trio of seniors should also have a big hand in helping to stop the run along the team’s defensive front.
With the experienced offensive line, Kramer hopes to be able to run the ball effectively. The team loses veteran starting quarterback Kaleb Stockton, but in steps senior Chris Sabin. The three-sport letter-winner (who maintains a 3.7 grade-point average) will move to quarterback in his final season with the Badgers after playing other positions in the past. Kramer notes Sabin, a tremendous all-around athlete, gives the team more of a dual, run-pass threat at quarterback where Stockton was more of a pure passer. The team also brings back senior running back Anthony Minor, who is expected to replace all-conference back Chris Sabin as the team’s featured back.
The Badgers will also utilize seniors Jessie Sandelin and Alex Rios in the backfield along with junior Donovan Varelman, who is expected to help fill the void at linebacker for last fall’s defensive team MVP for Bonners Ferry, Matt Varelman.
Varelman will be joined at linebacker on the defensive side of the ball by Minor, who was second-team All-Intermountain League and junior Jesse Bradley will have an opportunity to win important playing time at linebacker as well. Behind the big, experienced defensive front, they should have room to pursue the ball and make tackles as the team looks to cut down on the more than 25 points per game the Badgers allowed last fall against a daunting schedule that included 4A’s Sandpoint and Lakeland along with eventual 2A state champ St. Maries.
Turnout is still strong in Bonners Ferry, as Kramer told IdahoSports.com that the turnout for spring football in the northern, Boundary County town was as high as ever in his tenure with the school. Strong turnout presents Kramer and his staff an opportunity to build valuable depth as the team opens the season with five consecutive games against teams from outside the state of Idaho – four of which will be on the road. Only the season-opener against nearby Libby (MT), located about fifty miles west across the state line, will be played in Bonners Ferry.
The payback comes at the end of the schedule for Badger fans as three of the team’s final four games will be in Bonners Ferry, including critical IML matchups against long-time IML power Timberlake along with rival Kellogg in the final two weeks of the regular season. No matter what happens, the Badgers will go into those two games in control of their own destiny, with every opportunity to return to the 3A state playoffs in 2017.