Bonners Ferry Badgers
1997 records: 9-12, 4-8
Current record: 2-1
Coach: Tim Crownover, 1st
Top returners: Jeremy Baker, sr., rhp/1b; Beau Winey, sr., of/c; Matt Clark, sr., 3b; Derek Barnart, sr., of; Todd Bateman, jr., ss/rhp; Rama Scarlett, jr., of/ss.
Top newcomers: Colin Gause, jr., 2b; Ryan Garten, jr., 1b/of; Justin Anderson, jr., of/rhp.
Coach’s comment: “I like the way we hit the ball. And we seem to do the little things well. The strength of our team is the junior class.”
Outlook: The Badgers could surprise. They aren’t short of athletes. Bonners Ferry won’t contend for league title, but it could pull off an upset or two.
1997 records: 20-3 (state champ), 12-0 (league champ)
Current record: 1-1
Coach: Ken Busch, 8th year
Top returners: Kurt Reese, sr., rhp/inf; Dan Dockter, jr., c; Brian Phelps, jr., of/rhp; Taylor Skidmore, jr., 1b/of/ lhp; Dusty Dershem, sr., ss; Derek Felton, jr., 2b/rhp; Jesse Rinehart, jr., c.
Top newcomers: Chase Williams, soph., inf; Kevin Reese, soph., c/inf/rhp; Jeremy McMillen, soph., of; Adam Rouse, jr., of; Bobby Jenks, soph., rhp.
Coach’s comment: “This is a really low-key group. They really fit my personality. I don’t think too many things will bother them a whole lot.”
Outlook: Can you say three-peat? Lakeland will be seeking its fourth state title in the past six years. Reese will be out to finish his career undefeated. He’ll have to carry much of the load as the Hawks develop their pitching staff.
1997 records: 17-11, 8-3
Current record: 2-2
Coach: Mike Peterson, 1st
Top returners: Josh Yarno, sr., rhp/of; Tony Rinaldi, sr., ss; Jeff McPhie, sr., rhp/2b; Jeremy Nielsen, sr., rhp/3b; Jake Reisenauer, sr., rhp; Heath Cash, sr., cf; Rob Devoe, sr., 1b; Jeff Carr, sr., 3b; Jeremy Spencer, sr., lf.
Top newcomers: Adam Bush, soph., rhp/rf; Ryan Gilmore, jr., c/of; Jon Shupe, jr., c; Chris Walker, jr., 2b; Francis Reyes, jr., of.
Coach’s comment: “They’re competitive, they love the game. We’ve got to play competitive every game because we have some spots to fill. I think we’re going to get better every time we play.”
Outlook: Don’t be fooled for a moment. Peterson, an assistant last year, has a fine nucleus of athletes to challenge not only for league title but state championship.
Priest River Spartans
1997 records: 7-16, 0-12
Current record: 0-0
Coach: Lou Musso, 2nd
Top returners: Adam Hester, sr., rhp/ss; John Nelson, sr., c; Asher Duquette, jr., 1b; Clark Kawamoto, sr., of/ rhp; Zack Wood, sr., cf; Jim Lake, sr., of. Top newcomers: Ryan Redinger, jr., 3b; Justin Kershaw, jr., ss; Lucas Blaine, jr., rhp; Allen Rogers, sr., inf.
Coach’s comment: “They’ve put in time in the off-season to try to improve themselves. They work hard and hang together. I feel we’ll be improved over last year.”
Outlook: The Spartans should be improved over last season. But it may not make much difference in this tough league. Priest River will continue to earn respect from opponents, but it still has a way to go before it challenges for a state berth.
St. Maries Lumberjacks
1997 records: 13-10, 6-6
Current record: 2-3
Coach: Jeff Andersen, 8th
Top returners: D.J. Eberlin, sr., c/rhp; Skyler Willard, sr., 2b; Brian Lounsbury, sr., 1b; Trent Duffey, soph., cf; Galen Holdahl, sr., rph/of; Jason Bierman, sr., lf.
Top newcomers: Pat Eberlin, soph., 3b/of; Jake Adams, freshman, ss.
Coach’s comment: “There are times I look down the lineup and offensively we can be scary. Defensively, we’re going to make some errors early. It’ll take a while to get on an even kilter.”
Outlook: If Lakeland or Moscow stumbles, the Lumberjacks will be the team to leapfrog into playoff contention. Three-sport standout Eberlin is one of the top players in a league featuring several standouts. If pitching and defense come through, St. Maries should challenge. , DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: PLAYERS TO WATCH Kurt Reese, senior, right-handed pitcher, Lakeland D.J. Eberlin, senior, catcher/right-handed pitcher, St. Maries Josh Yarno, senior, right-handed pitcher, Moscow Rama Scarlett, junior, outfielder/shortstop, Bonners Ferry Zack Wood, senior, centerfielder, Priest River Jeff McPhie, senior, right-handed pitcher/second baseman, Moscow
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