2013 high school football preview: Bear River Bears' collection of offensive linemen among the best
Bear River Bears at a glance
Coach: Chris Wise is entering his 12th season as Bear River’s head coach, and he’s one of the longest tenured coaches in school history. He’s amassed a 68-56 record along the way, including state titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006. He’s a graduate of Bear River High School.
(6 returning starters; Spread offense)
It all starts up front for the Bears, who return Justus Wise, Branson Fonnesbeck, Braden Pugsley and Carson Gibbs on the offensive line. The quartet should help ease the transition as Jardee Nessen takes over at quarterback. Colton Jensen was among the leading receivers in 3A last year with 754 yards on 39 receptions, and he’ll definitely be targeted more frequently this season as perhaps the best possession receiver in 3A.
(6 returning starters)
Bear River graduated its four leading tacklers from a year ago, but there’s experience defensively to absorb the absences. Taylor Lund is an outstanding outside linebacker for the Bears, while Pugsley will anchor down one of the middle linebacker positions. The defensive line will be led by Selman and Lewis. The secondary is a bit of a concern for Bear River, a big reason the team attended two 7-on-7 camps this summer to sharpen things up. Jensen will likely be called upon to fill one of those cornerback roles.
Coaches preseason 3AA North straw poll: Third
Deseret News 3AA North prediction: Third
Bottom line: With a strong offensive line, Bear River is certainly good enough to compete near the top of the 3AA North region this year. Whether it can actually win a region title hinges on back-to-back weeks in late September. A week after opening region play with what should be a routine victory against Tooele, the Bears host region favorites Juan Diego and Stansbury. A victory in either game would be huge for the program, whereas losses in each game could make things snowball the other direction.
Felt's Facts for Bear River High School
All-time record: 361-416-19 (91 years)
Region championships: 13 (1937, 1959, 1983, 1984, 1985 co, 1986 co, 1987, 1990, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2006)
Playoff appearances: 32
All-time playoff record: 36-29
State championships: 3 (2003, 2004, 2006)
State championship record: 3-5
Most played rivalry: 92 meetings with Box Elder dating back to 1923. Box Elder leads 65-25-2. Meet on Sept. 6.
Felt’s Factoid(s): Bear River's 92 meetings with Box Elder makes the game the longest uninterrupted active rivalry in state history, having been played every season since 1923. The winner has taken home a traveling trophy, the Golden Spike, since 1959. ... BR recovered 10 fumbles — a state record — against Jordan in a 1981 Class 3A playoff game.
Bear River coaching history
2002-current — Chris Wise (68-56)
2001 — Jay Graft (5-4)
1998-2000 — Ryan Bishop (23-10)
1997 — Jeff Kilts (2-8)
1992-1996 — Doug Parry (34-22)
1988-1991 — Mike Rosky (26-16)
1981-1987 — Dan Cox (58-21)
1979-1980 — Mark Pierce (4-14)
1978 — Hal Lewis (2-7)
1976-1977 — Bill Jacobson (7-13)
1968-1975 — Don Peterson (20-50)
1959-1967 — Gerald Simmons (38-39)
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