September 5, 1997 in Sports

Iml Football

 

In predicted order of finish

Lakeland Hawks

1996 record: 3-2 IML, 3-6 overall

Coach: Terry Kiefer

Years coaching, record: 19th, 118-61-1

Top returners: Kurt Reese, senior, 6-4, 220, quarterback; Jason Hindberg, junior, 6-0, 175, running back/defensive back; Harrison Bertsch, jr., 6-0, 180, rb/db; Taylor Skidmore, jr., 6-3, 180, tight end/db; Chad Lunsford, sr., 6-2, 220, tackle/defensive tackle; Pete Feld, sr., 6-0, 235, guard/dt; Dan Dockter, jr., 5-9, 175, linebacker; Dan Ross, sr., 5-11, 170, wide receiver/db; Brad Rasor, sr., 5-10, 150, wr/db; Andy Olson, sr., 6-0, 185, lb/center; Phil Alverson, sr., 6-1, 235, t/dt; Jared Mudge, jr., 6-3, 210, lb; Levi Cushman, jr., 6-3, 200, de/t; Nathan Wunische, sr., 5-10, 160, lb; Mike Moore, sr., 6-0, 170, wr; Nate Van Valin, sr., 5-10, 185, de/fb.

Newcomers: Jacques Desmarias, soph., 6-0, 235, g; Chad Taylor, jr., 5-8, 220, g; Adam Moore, sr., 6-1, 205, center/dt; Tim Van Valin, jr., 5-11, 175, lb; Brian Schaeffer, sr., 6-3, 175, wr; Derek Felton, jr., 5-7, 140, db; Nick Bedraun, sr., 5-10, 175, rb; Travis Wright, jr., 6-1, 245, dt.

Quick kicks: Those aren’t randomly printed names above. The Hawks return a boatload of talented players, several of whom have switched positions. You’ll need a program to follow them.

Coach’s comments: “We’re a little bit more experienced than we were last year. They’re a pretty laid-back group of kids. When it comes game time, I hope our kids play with a little bit of fire under them.”

Outlook: Good quarterback, good running backs, good linemen, good wide receivers, good linebackers, good defensive backs. What’s not to like? The Hawks have the makings of a league title team. It’ll take a superb effort to knock them off.

Moscow Bears

1996 record: 2-3, 3-6

Coach: Eric Bjorkman

Years coaching, record: 25th, 172-83-1

Top returners: Tony Rinaldi, sr., 5-9, 175, qb/db; Josh Yarno, sr., 6-5, 215, te/lb; Russ Cosgrove, sr., 6-1, 205, rb/db; Pat Armstrong, sr., 6-4, 220, c/dl; Jon Shupe, jr., 6-4, 185, wr/db; Jake Reisenauer, sr., 5-10, 195, dl/ol.

Newcomers: Ben Nagey, jr., 6-2, 225, ol/dl; Todd Drugge, soph., 6-0, 210, ol/dl; Jeremy Spencer, sr., 6-3, 185, rb/db Logos.

Quick kicks: It seems like the Bears should be smaller across the offensive and defensive lines this year, especially after graduating the likes of Drew Owen (6-7, 265). But they’ll still be above-average size.

Coach’s comments: “We’re inexperienced in the line, and there’s no substitute for experience. But we think they’ll come along. If they come together, we’ll do well.”

Outlook: The Bears should be able to run and pass at will. The key for Moscow is surviving tough preleague schedule. The Bears have suffered key injuries early in the season the past few years. If they’re healthy come conference play, look out.

St. Maries Lumberjacks

1996 record: 3-2, 6-4

Coach: Curt Carr

Years coaching, record: 12th, 70-46

Top returners: Skyler Willard, sr., 6-1, 170, qb; D.J. Eberlin, sr., 6-1, 190, wr/db; Mark Raebel, sr., 6-3, 190, ot/lb; Justin Hall, sr., 5-9, 200, rb/lb; Cory Nemeth, sr., 5-11, 160, rb/lb; Caleb Krebs, jr., 5-10, 150, wr/db; Derick Driggs, jr., 6-4, 180, te/db; Josh Buell, sr., 6-1, 185, g/lb; Galan Holdahl, sr., 6-0, 200, ol/dl; Sam Robins, sr., 5-10, 180, ol/dl.

Newcomers: Rodey Hill, jr., 6-3, 205, ol/dl; Jeremy Wondolleck, jr., 6-4, 185, ol/de; Jason Bierman, sr., 5-10, 155, wr/db; Trent Duffey, soph., 5-10, 145, db/wr.

Quick kicks: Typically light non-league schedule will allow Carr to groom team to his liking.

Coach’s comments: “We’ll throw some nasty skill people on the field. We’re quicker than we have been in the past.”

Outlook: St. Maries could finish first, second or third. So Lumberjacks shouldn’t be offended by this prediction. But Carr will milk it for all it’s worth. There’s one place he has his eye on - and it’s not third.

Priest River Spartans

1996 record: 0-5, 3-6

Coach: Norm Stark

Years coaching, record: 5th, 12-24

Top returners: Jeff Griesemer, sr., 6-2, 195, qb/lb; Josh Queen, sr., 6-2, 255, rb/dl; Allen Rogers, sr., 5-9, 180, rb; Jake Stark, sr., 5-9, 160, wr/db.

Newcomers: John Nelson, sr., 5-9, 160, rb/ db; Jason Keller, jr., 6-2, 205, ol/dl; John Dinger, sr., 6-1, 180, lb/te.

Quick kicks: The senior class (15) is the most dedicated group Stark has had, and the seniors’ bond is a team strength.

Coach’s comments: “This is the best group I’ve seen here. We have talent in the right spots, and we have size and speed.”

Outlook: The Spartans were 5-4 in 1995, and it’s not a reach to suggest a better mark this season. With some good fortune Priest River could get to six wins. A break or two and maybe at least one more. Lack of tested depth could be the Spartans’ downfall.

Kellogg Wildcats

1996 record: 3-2, 7-2

Coach: Tony Kerfoot

Years coaching, record: 1st

Top returners: Brian Carlson, sr., 6-0, 195, qb/db; Cory Lewis, sr., 5-9, 165, rb/db; Dustin Shafer, sr., 5-9, 210, ol/dl; Cody Lemieux, sr., 6-1, 180, de/ol; Cody Lodi, sr., 6-1, 210, ol/lb; Darin Shelley, sr., 5-9, 180, dl/fb.

Newcomers: Tim Bush, jr., 6-2, 185, te/lb; John Godwin, jr., 6-1, 170, ol/lb; Brady Bircher, jr., 6-1, 160, wr/db; Andrew Roberts, sr., 5-8, 150, rb/db.

Quick kicks: Kerfoot is doing something rarely done at the A-2 level - he’s head coach of two major back-to-back sports (boys basketball being the other).

Coach’s comments: “We lost a lot of seniors, so we’re definitely focusing on quality, not quantity. I’m pleased with their work ethic.”

Outlook: If the Wildcats rally under Kerfoot as they have in basketball, don’t count Kellogg out of anything. Kerfoot is a master of getting average athletes to overachieve. And Kellogg will have to do a lot of it after graduating 19 players.

Bonners Ferry Badgers

1996 record: 4-1 (league champ), 5-5

Coach: Ted Reynolds

Years coaching, record: 2, 5-5

Top returners: Ken Yount, sr., 5-10, 160, db/wr; Beau Winey, sr., 5-8, 150, db/rb; Jeff Myers, jr., 5-10, 220, lb/ol; Matt Clark, sr., 5-11, 160, pk/db.

Newcomers: Andy Rice, soph., 6-4, 180, qb/de; Todd Bateman, jr., 6-0, 160, qb/db; Christian Vasquez, jr., 6-0, 180, ol/dl; Chris Blanford, jr., 5-10, 175, fb; Ryely Peterson, jr., 5-8, 160, lb/wr.

Quick kicks: The second year of a pay-toplay policy is taking its toll on the football program. Just 47 turned out for four grades, down from 85 last year.

Coach’s comments: “What the pay-toplay has really done is taken away our depth. These kids are working really, really hard. Our conditioning has to be good because they’re all going to have to play 48 minutes.”

Outlook: Reynolds expects to be picked last. And that’s fine with him. He’ll go to war, he said, with the 11 he puts on the field. But it’s a rebuilding year at best.

, DataTimes MEMO: See related story under the headline: Last year’s picks seem best again

This sidebar appeared with the story:

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Tony Rinaldi, senior, 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, quarterback/defensive back, Moscow. Defenses will key on Rinaldi, but it may not make a difference. If he’s not throwing touchdowns, he’ll be sprinting to the end zone.

Kurt Reese, senior, 6-4, 220, quarterback, Lakeland. He’s finally poised to play up to projected potential. If his line protects, he’ll slice up defenses.

Skyler Willard, senior, 6-1, 170, quarterback, St. Maries. Had a big year as a junior and should pick up where he left off. In the mold of St. Maries’ traditional QBs.

Russ Cosgrove, senior, 6-1, 205, running back/defensive back, Moscow. Just hand Cosgrove the ball and get out of his way. And if defenders don’t get out of his way, he’ll run over them.

Jeff Griesemer, senior, 6-2, 195, quarterback/linebacker, Priest River. Interesting two-way combo, but Griesemer is more than able to tackle the task. Should be team’s most valuable player.

D.J. Eberlin, senior, 6-1, 190, wide receiver/defensive back. An injury cut short Eberlin’s junior season. He’s set to bounce back in a big way.

See related story under the headline: Last year’s picks seem best again

This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH Tony Rinaldi, senior, 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, quarterback/defensive back, Moscow. Defenses will key on Rinaldi, but it may not make a difference. If he’s not throwing touchdowns, he’ll be sprinting to the end zone. Kurt Reese, senior, 6-4, 220, quarterback, Lakeland. He’s finally poised to play up to projected potential. If his line protects, he’ll slice up defenses. Skyler Willard, senior, 6-1, 170, quarterback, St. Maries. Had a big year as a junior and should pick up where he left off. In the mold of St. Maries’ traditional QBs. Russ Cosgrove, senior, 6-1, 205, running back/defensive back, Moscow. Just hand Cosgrove the ball and get out of his way. And if defenders don’t get out of his way, he’ll run over them. Jeff Griesemer, senior, 6-2, 195, quarterback/linebacker, Priest River. Interesting two-way combo, but Griesemer is more than able to tackle the task. Should be team’s most valuable player. D.J. Eberlin, senior, 6-1, 190, wide receiver/defensive back. An injury cut short Eberlin’s junior season. He’s set to bounce back in a big way.


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