Bonners Ferry 2020 sports recap

by VICTOR CORRAL MARTINEZ
Staff Writer | December 31, 2020 1:00 AM

Sports at Bonners Ferry High School experienced a roller coaster year in 2020, both on and off the fields and courts.

Although the 2019-20 winter sports seasons were completed, spring sports had just begun in early and mid-March when the Idaho High School Activities Association joined the rest of the sports world in pausing, then canceling events due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In mid-April, the IHSAA made it official, canceling spring high school sports tournaments in the state.

"It was a very reluctant unanimous vote," IHSAA executive director Ty Jones told the Hagadone News Network. "But when you look at everything that was involved with it, you knew it had to be done.

"I'd be lying if I said there weren't a couple of tears shed by some people (on the IHSAA board of directors), when you have to tell kids that they don't get to participate in things. That's what we did - we told thousands of kids today that your spring sports seasons are done. Our board did not take that lightly," Jones said.

Other than the #BeTheLight event on a Friday night in mid-April, which honored athletes by shining the lights at the Bonners Ferry High School football field, high school sports would not return until fall.

The IHSAA brought back fall sports with new restrictions and precautions in place such as not sharing water bottles, wearing masks when not performing and use of sanitizer.

The policies were rough for many of the young athletes, but they were able to persevere despite the COVID-19 disruptions, which included the Badgers girls soccer team having to quarantine for two weeks.

Many matches were canceled because of coronavirus infections and concerns over safety. However, many athletes completed the season with important wins, recognition and awards.

Some highlights from the past year of BFHS sports include:

Jan. 23

BFHS senior Abigail Gorton has signed a scholarship letter of intent to run cross country and track next year for Lew-Clark college in Lewiston, Idaho.

Jan. 30

The Lady Badgers win at the buzzer, topping Stillwater Christian High School 57-56 in Kalispell, Mont. Mia Blackmore grabbed a defensive rebound on a missed free throw, then sank the game-winner.

Feb. 13

Badger wrestlers earn second place with five champions at their home event.

March 5

Evan Barajas captured the state title and five other Badgers placed at the 3A state wrestling championship.

April 23

Idaho High School Activities Association cancels the remainder of the spring sports season in Idaho and including state tournaments.

April 30

Bonners Ferry’s Abigail Gorton earns the North Idaho Athletic Hall of Fame award for being the Female Track athlete of the year.

Sept. 10

Badgers football delivers a shutout victory in a 45-0 non-conference match against Priest River.

Sept. 17

Late rally leads Badgers football past Kellogg in the fourth quarter to deliver a 14-13 win.

Oct. 15

The Bonners Ferry High School girls soccer team topped St. Maries 4-0 Monday afternoon in the first round of the Class 3A district tournament.

Nov. 5

Three Bonners Ferry High School cross country runners competed in the Idaho High School Activities Association 3A State Championships last weekend at Portneuf Wellness Complex in Pocatello.

Nov. 12

Nine members of the Bonners Ferry High School football team were selected to the 3A Intermountain League first or second team. Junior safety Wilson Newell earned first team All-IML honors and was named the 3A Intermountain League Defensive Player of the Year.

Nov. 25

Junior Sierra Petesch and freshman Asha Abubakari were selected to the 3A All-Intermountain League volleyball team. The girls were nominated by the opposing coaches in the IML, and their own coach was not allowed to vote for them.

Dec. 10

Badger wrestling triumphs against Sandpoint, winning back the 'B' Cup. Bonners Ferry's Isaiah Shottanana pinned Sandpoint's Tag Benefield in their 220-pound bout for the clinching points.

Dec. 24

Bonners Ferry’s wrestling team concluded a week of competition against some of Idaho’s top programs by claiming three individual titles at Saturday’s George Wild Invitational at Lakeland High School. Led by first-place finishes from Evan Barajas (132 pounds), Marcus Regehr (138) and Bryan Durette (152), the Badgers finished third at the 10-team event.