Head Coach: Matt Virgil
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: Coached at Deary and Moscow for 12 years
Record Last Year: 4-5
Willie Nelson, LB, 12
Jordan Perez, QB, 12
Tavyn Lords, RB, 12
Colton Reifschneider, WR, 12
Key Players lost from last year:
Cort Erickson, OL: His leadership and knowledge of calls
Photo By: Richard Friess - #15 Willie Nelson
Written by Dylan Carder, Sports Director KIFI/KIDK
There will be some major changes coming to the Bonneville Bees this season, yet at the same time, there will be a lot a familiarity. Head coach Matt Virgil will be getting back more than 20 seniors in 2019. Most of them being freshman when he took over as head coach, so this will be his first group that he's had all four years.
However, Virgil will changing things up. This summer he has installed a new offense to better match the skills of his returning personnel. Willie Nelson lead the way at quarterback last season, but he will be switching positions for his senior year. After hitting the weight room, Nelson will become the signal caller on defense and become a middle linebacker.
Taking over the starting quarterback job will be senior Jordan Perez. He will be joined in the backfield by the dynamic duo of seniors Tavyn Lords and Colton Reifschneider. Virgil says Reifschneider is “one of, if not the, fastest kids in the state.” He adds that Colton is a threat to score every single time he touches the ball.
The offensive line will be without Cort Erickson who Virgil says had a great knowledge of the calls and was a solid leader. The Bees will look for others to step up on get the job done on the line.
Perhaps one reason Nelson will be making the move from quarterback to linebacker is that Bonneville was plagued last season by a tendency to give up big plays on defense. The Bees will look for Nelson to provide the kind of leadership on this side of the ball like he did for the offense last year.
That got started early when Nelson voluntarily gave up a chance to go to North Carolina and play with the Idaho Falls Bandits in the American Legion World Series so that he would not miss any of camp to get ready for the football season.
While the Bandits would go on to become the first team from Idaho to win the national championship, Nelson was back home making sure his team would be ready to compete for a state championship. It is that kind of leadership that has Matt Virgil so high on his team. He says this is a very close group and the example that is being shown is rubbing off on the younger guys.
With the experience, talent, and chemistry that the 2019 Bonneville Bees have, they are certainly primed to be a legit contender in a conference that has produced the last three 4A state champions. While there are multiple contenders in a tough league, the Civil War match up with rival Hillcrest on September 20 could the litmus test to see who has the inside track to winning the High Country Conference and launch a deep state playoff run.