In predicted order of finish:
Bonners Ferry Badgers
2004 records: 4-5 overall, 3-1 league
Coach: Caleb Arceneaux
Years coaching, record: 3rd, 13-7
Base offense, defense: I, 50
Starters, lettermen returning: 10, 15
Key players: Sam Botkin, senior, 6-foot, 185 pounds, quarterback/linebacker; Matt Rice, sr., 6-2, 195, wide receiver/lb; Kyle Behrens, sr., running back/lb, 5-11, 185; Wes Nieman, sr., 5-11, 206, offensive line/defensive line; Ben Turner, sr., 6-1, 230, ol/dl; Jozef Musial, junior, 5-11, 205, ol/lb; Jared Stone, jr., 6-3, 245, ol/dl; Bryan Cox, sr., 5-8, 145, wr/db; Matt Carey, sr., 6-0, 319, ol/dl; Josh Hawks, jr., 5-8, 155, rb/db.
Coach’s comments: “We have a good group of seniors. They feel it’s their time.”
Outlook: The Badgers got off to a rough start Friday, falling 42-7 at Libby, Mont. Bonners Ferry could suffer a few more lumps in a tough non-league schedule. But come league play, the Badgers should find their stride against significantly less difficult opponents.
2004 records: 8-3, 4-0 (league champ)
Coach: Roy Albertson
Years coaching, record: 15th, 3rd at Timberlake, 87-48-1
Base offense, defense: Wing T, 4-3
Starters, lettermen returning: 2, 12
Key players: Nick Jutila, sr., 6-0, 230, tackle/lb; John Macklin, jr., 6-3, 175, db/qb/rb; Jake Archer, sr., 5-10, 170, tailback/db; Eric Langlitz, sr., 5-8, 170, nose guard/fb; Nick Puckett, sophomore, 5-10, 170, fullback/db; Levi Powers, soph., 5-9, 155, qb; Chris Macpherson, sr., 5-10, 170, wingback/db; Nick Kuykendall, soph., 5-9, 220, dt/g; Casey Denton, jr., 6-2, 175, tight end/db.
Coach’s comments: “We have a lot of potential. We don’t have the experience, but we have speed.”
Outlook: Timberlake featured by far the biggest and strongest team last year. This year the Tigers are significantly smaller. But they’re also markedly faster, and the Tigers hope speed overcomes a lack of strength. If the Badgers stumble, the young Tigers will be poised to pounce.
Priest River Spartans
2004 records: 4-4, 2-2
Coach: Gary Stewart
Years coaching, record: 3rd, 7-9
Base offense, defense: I, 50
Starters, lettermen returning: 8, 11
Key players: Shawn Walker, sr., 6-0, 185, lb/c; Zach Clow, jr., 6-1, 185, qb/olb; Zach Freitas, jr., 6-0, 215, ol/dl; Ray Hinshaw, jr., 5-10, 180, lb/rb; Cory Johnson, sr., 6-2, 230, ol/dl; Heath Wardrop, sr., 6-0, 210, dt/rb; Richie Morales, jr., 5-10, 165, db/rb; Dustin Lehman, jr., 6-3, 175, s/te.
Coach’s comments: “We’ve been pretty competitive the last two years. Our kids are confident that they can play with anybody in our league.”
Outlook: The Spartans could be the surprise team if the usual suspects falter. Priest River must avoid key injuries to challenge for a higher finish.
St. Maries Lumberjacks
2004 records: 3-6, 1-3
Coach: John Yegge
Years coaching, record: 3rd, 4-14
Base offense, defense: Pro I, 4-3
Starters, lettermen returning: 7, 18
Key players: Travis Christensen, sr., 5-10, 165, qb/cb; Zak Cox, jr., 5-9, 170, qb/wr/ss; Cory Wonderlich, sr., 6-0, 180, rb/de; Caleb Cox, sr., 6-0, 200, fb/de; Jake McDonald, sr., 6-0, 185, t/mlb; Tyler Morris, sr., 6-0, 260, g/ng; Logan Sheldon, jr., 5-9, 160, wr/fs; Tucker Baker, sr., 6-2, 185, te/t; Ian Boyle, jr., 5-9, 155, cb/wr; Kyle Joiner, jr., 6-0, 170, lb/te; Adam Benda, sr., 5-8, 145, lb/rb.
Coach’s comments: “We’re conditioning the snot out of them. The more we condition, the more they ask for. They’re working really hard.”
Outlook: The Lumberjacks will be much improved, but it won’t matter much against the league’s proven programs. St. Maries lacks the depth to challenge for an upper-division finish.
2004 records: 2-7, 0-4
Coach: Alan Williams
Years coaching, record: 9th, 1st at Kellogg, 33-31
Base offense, defense: I, 4-3
Starters, lettermen returning: 8, 10
Key players: Levi Duncan, sr., 5-10, 190, fb/lb; Jacob Kagarise, sr., 6-3, 185, wr/cb; Chris Lund, sr., 6-1, 180, qb/cb; Joey Sauer, sr., 6-2, 200, te/lb; Alex Madsen, sr., 6-0, 235, c/ng; Jacob Barker, sr., 5-10, 205, g/de; Bret Luoma, sr., 6-3, 215, te/s.
Coach’s comments: “They’re very positive and I like their work ethic. Those two things are the key to being successful.”
Outlook: The Wildcats will struggle making the transition to a new coach. It will be another long season in Kellogg.
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