BEAR RIVER HIGH – Headliner Staff – August 20, 2021
The Bear River High School boys’ and girls’ cross-country team is ready to kick off another season with some big goals in mind for 2021. The season will begin on Wednesday, August 25, at Gibbons Park in Logan starting at 3 p.m.
Over the past three years, the team has gone on an amazing run for both the boys’ and girls’ squads knocking off previously unbeaten Ridgeline High School for region titles - the girls’ team in 2019 and the boys’ team in 2020.
Additionally, the girls claimed their first ever Cache/Box titles in 2018 and 2019 and captured the 4A state cross-country academic championship in both 2019 and 2020.
The boys had their own recognition. They are currently three-time junior varsity boys’ Cache/Box champions 2018, 2019 and 2020, while also garnering junior varsity region titles in 2019 and 2020. The boys also showed their brains claiming the 2020 4A state cross-country academic runner-up award for 2020.
Luckily for the Bears squad, they are returning a lot of those individuals who comprised so much success over the last three years.
“Wow, we have a neat group of kids returning,” said Bear River High cross-country coach Dan Line.
“As coaches we are really stoked. We also have some other kids who are stepping it up and filling holes from the junior varsity squad and new athletes to the team who are going to be awesome. At the end of the day, it all starts with your seniors, and we have as good as group as ever,” he added.
Those seniors are a stellar group, starting with team captains Shylee Kofoed and Liz Phillips.
“I would take those two over any in our region. Can't believe this is year four. They both have big dreams. Liz battled injuries at this time last year, but she is ready to go. I think she can be region champ and medal at state,” Line said.
“Shylee has medaled three years in a row at region and twice at Cache Box. She is working through some injuries but is coming on. I think she can have a great year and get four years in a row at region medaling. She is going to be in the mix for that individual title at region too and could medal at state,” he added.
Other seniors on the varsity squad to look for are Katie Wynn, Kambry Gardner and Bella Murphy.
Underclassmen who will also mix it up for varsity spots this year are Savannah Sexton, Madison Auble, Becca Curtis and Bethany Richard. The team is also hopeful senior soccer star Naomi Tomlinson can come out and help for her fourth year. The girls have a chance to win region and possibly bring home the girls first ever state trophy.
The boys lost some key seniors last year, but they bring back a lot of depth. Two-time state performers Matt Spotten and Ammon Hunter should lead the way for the defending region champs along with varsity stalwart Phillip Gallegos.
“Those three are really capable. We need them to win region,” Line said.
Other seniors who are somewhat new to the varsity this year will be Kael Kowallis and Kenneth Pingle.
“Kael and Kenneth have worked hard all summer. No runners have put in more time than they have. They should do great. Really pleased with their dedication and leadership. That means the world to the coaching staff,” said Line.
Senior Will Rhodes has been a big part of the junior varsity squad the last three years and is knocking on the door to be a regular varsity member. The remaining seniors on the team include Landon Miller, Sam Phillips, Frank Rees and Perry Topham.
Expect super sophomores David Bourgeous and Braxton Craven to crack the top five along with at least six of, “the best juniors we have ever had,” according to Line.
“If all the boys show up, work hard and stick together then we can repeat. It might be tougher than last year, but it is exciting and a credit to these boys that they have a shot at it,” Line added.