Bulldogs look to rebound from winless 2011 seasonThe Bowman County football team’s first season after losing Scranton, its co-op partner of nine years, was a tough one.
By: Royal McGregor, The Dickinson Press
Bulldogs’ upside: The young team can look to build around two
talented sophomore running backs, Chandler Braaten and Bondon Scott.
Bulldogs’ downside: The team has no depth at all with just 21 players on the roster.
The Bowman County football team’s first season after losing Scranton, its co-op partner of nine years, was a tough one.
Despite a 0-9 season, Travis Hagar said the team is further along now than it was at this point last season.
“We’re definitely growing leaps and bounds above last year at this time,” he said. “The expectations are higher and kids are more experienced.”
The Bulldogs enter the 9-man, Region 4 fold with only three seniors. But they have a host of juniors and sophomores waiting in the wings with game experience.
“Last year, we were really young and we’re a little bit older now,” Hagar said. “We only have three seniors out and I’m not going to say we’re a really experienced team, but a lot of young kids got the chance to play.”
While John Yale, a 5-foot-10, 175-pound junior quarterback, will drop back in the pocket, Hagar said almost all others positions are up for grabs.
He said the best part about all the competition is the variety of players getting looks at different positions.
“We are starting to develop some depth,” Hagar said. “Last year, we didn’t have depth. We were a very skeleton crew. Even though we don’t have big numbers at 21 (players), it’s still up from last year.”
Other than quarterback, the only other position that’s set in stone is running back.
Sophomores Bondon Scott (5-8, 155) and Chandler Braaten (5-9, 165) will share time. Scott was an all-region wide receiver last year, meaning he can drop out of the backfield and catch passes.
“We don’t have a lot of depth in the backfield, but we have two very good athletes,” Hagar said. “They are only sophomores, but I think they are going to do a very good job.”
The offensive and defensive lines are still fairly young for the Bulldogs, but Hagar said everyone is stepping up and into larger rolls, including sophomore lineman Jason Schade, who had a solid offseason.
“We’ve got a sophomore and junior at the guards,” Hagar said. “Then we got a little competition going at center.”
After the first week of practice, Hagar has little to complain about. Numbers are up, kids are excited and everyone is eager to get the season started.
“The kids have been working hard in practice and they have a great attitude,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better first week to be honest.”
Bowman County Bulldogs
Head coach: Travis Hagar (fourth season)
Last season: 0-9, missed playoffs
Returners: John Yale, Jr., QB, 5-10, 175; Bondon Scott, So., RB/LB, 5-8, 155; Chandler Braaten, So., RB/LB, 5-9, 165; Eric Bucholz, Sr., WR/FS, 5-9, 140; Hunter Lanchbury, Jr., WR, 6-0, 135; Michael Longland, Jr., TE, 5-10, 170.
Newcomers: Eric Bloomgren, Jr., OL/DL, 6-0, 217; Sterling Quintanilla, So., DL/OL, 5-8, 195; Jason Schade, So., DL/OL; 5-10, 350.
Losses: Alex Burke, RB; D.J. Goodshield, QB; Marcqus Ohlmacher, OL.