Football preview: The Mount Shasta High School Bears are ready to roar

Bill Choy
Mount Shasta Herald
Cole Kindley, Matteo DeLeon and Cameron Collord are three players excited to hit the gridiron for the Mount Shasta High school Bears in 2021 after a lost season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a year without high school football, the Mount Shasta Bears are ready to roar back this season. 

The Bears have been busy with summer weight training and begin fall camp on Aug. 2. The team opens their 2021 season at Colusa on Friday, Aug 27. Their first home game at Joe Blevins Memorial Stadium is the following week against the Etna Lions.

The last time the Bears played a game was on Nov. 22, 2019 at a second-round road playoff contest in East Nicolaus. 

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“It dropped my heart,” said Mount Shasta senior Cole Kindley when he found out there would be no season last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It was hard.” 

This year – if things hold steady – all schools are set to return to the gridiron.

Mitch Crossley, who took over as head coach for the Bears last summer, said he's ecstatic his players will get on the field this year. “Waiting this long has been tough, really tough. But we are just excited and ready to begin.” 

Crossley said a core group of players have put in extra time this summer in the weight room and overall, the team is full of hardworking kids that listen and put in the work. 

“These kids have come out and done everything asked of them,” he said. ”They are dedicated (and) love playing football.” 

Crossley is still looking for players, and if any Bears are interested in joining the team, they should call him for more information at 530-925-1335.  

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Kindley, who will play quarterback for the Bears varsity team this year, has high expectations and believes the team can contend for a league title and a long run in the playoffs. He said this is a close-knit group with many players who have played sports together since elementary school.

"I feel like we all play better knowing everyone has got our back," Kindley said.

Crossley said the league is tough this year and every game will be a challenge so his team will need to be ready to play every contest. He said the league and non-league schedule is full of solid teams, like Colusa and and Anderson. 

“There’s not a weak team in the bunch,” he said. 

He said he is especially looking forward to the game against rival Weed on Sept. 10. Several players are very familiar with each other and have friends on the opposing squad. 

Crossley said the Bears are looking strong on defense and has many experienced players with size and speed. It helps, he said, to have a veteran quarterback like Kindley and a talented running back in junior Marcus Delgado, who transferred from Paso Robles High School last year but is back for the 2021 season. Delgado is a dominating runner that can put up the yardage and Crossley believes he can have a big rushing season for the Bears. 

While the O-line has size, many are inexperienced and Crossley believes it will take time for them to gel. If they can, he thinks things will go well this season.  

“Our goal is to keep getting better every day,” Crossley said. “This is a great group of players. I'm looking forward to seeing what they can do. I think it’s going to be a good season."