This is new varsity head coach Dave Kindley's fifth year with the Bears football program. He served as the team's defensive coordinator last season. Kindley believes that the team has the potential to have success again this year.

With a new head coach at the helm this season, the Mount Shasta Bears varsity football team looks to build upon last year’s solid gridiron campaign.

In 2018, Mount Shasta went 5-4 overall and finished in a three-way tie for second in the Mid-Valley Conference, earning a playoff berth in the Northern Section Division 4 playoffs. The Bears fell in the first round in a 13-7 battle to Colusa, the team they open the season with on the road this Friday, Aug. 30. The year before, Mount Shasta won a single contest after winning eight games in 2016.

This is new varsity head coach Dave Kindley’s fifth year with the Bears football program. He served as the team’s defensive coordinator last season.

Kindley believes that the team has the potential to have success again this year.

“I really like the guys we have,” he said. “They have worked hard and are ready to go out and face anybody These kids don't give up and have given maximum effort.”

Kindley said the team certainly has the talent, grit and resolve to be competitive in league again this year and earn another playoff berth. And, he added, the players and coaches are determined to again make the playoffs and move past the first round.

A huge challenge in the Mid-Valley Conference is longtime power East Nicolaus, which went a sterling 13-1 last year, won the Division 4 Northern Section title, and earned a berth to a state bowl game, where they suffered their only loss of the season. Kindley said that the Spartans will be very strong again this year and the league will again be a battle, with Mount Shasta competing with other tough teams such as University Prep of Redding.

He added that the Bears averaged under 20 players last season, but were able to have a successful season despite a smaller roster compared to other programs. This year, the team again has less than 20 players, although Kindley hoped more players would join the team by the start of the season.

“It’s always a challenge” with numbers, Kindley said. “We are in a small community. It is what it is.”

But, he added, the Bears have been lucky to have a core group of talented, dedicated players that play with hunger and passion and find ways to win.

Kindley said that the Bears have a tough preseason schedule, including their opener at Colusa. They will host Paradise on Sept. 27. The Paradise team is still recovering from the devastating Camp Fire last year and have received national attention. Mount Shasta will also face Yreka on the road on Sept. 13 and Modoc at home on Sept. 6. The Bears open league on Oct. 11 at home versus Williams.

Kindley said a key for the team is that they have a talented, experienced and good sized offensive and defensive line, with players in the 225 to 250 pound range. This includes Lane Kindley, who is the largest in the group at six foot 3 inches and 280 pounds. Junior Gaspar Rodriguez is expected take over at quarterback this year. Kindley said he’s a good leader that understands the offense well and can make plays when he needs to in an offense that empathizes the run. He added that the running game should be a strength this year, with a number of players able to carry the rock and gain yards with the stout offensive line able to create running lanes.

This includes Kayden Crisci, who had a big year running the ball last season with a number of 100 yard plus games. Kindley added that the defense should be solid again this year. The Bears will again play a 5-3 defense and will be a tough “bend but not break unit.”

Schedule

Aug. 30: At Colusa: 5:00 p.m. JV/ 7 p.m. varsity

Sept. 6: Home vs Modoc: 5 p.m. JV/ 7 p.m. varsity

Sept 13: At Yreka: 5 p.m. JV/ 7 p.m. varsity

Sept. 19: Bye week

Sept. 27: Home versus Paradise. 5:30 p.m. JV/ 7:30 p.m. varsity

Oct 4: At Weed, TBA

Oct. 11: Home vs. Williams. JV 5:00 p.m./ varsity 7: p.m.

Oct. 18: At East Nicolaus: JV 5:00 p.m./ varsity 7: p.m.

Oct. 25: Home Vs. University Prep.  JV 5:00 p.m./ varsity 7: p.m.

Nov. 1: At Hamilton. JV/ 5:30 p.m. Varsity 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 8: At Trinity. JV/ 5:30 p.m. Varsity 7:30 p.m.