The Ely Times

For the White Pine High football team, the returning players will be looking to completely turn around the 4-6 record they have endured the past three years. And coach Nick Lopez said he is feeling very confident of doing just that. 

“I’m feeling pretty good about this team as we have many players returning including seven seniors,” Lopez said. “Showing a lot of enthusiasm.”

White Pine’s key players will be Phoenix Ball, Adam Thayer, Trey Gordon and junior quarterback Isaias Gonzalez.

“I’ve got a big line this year and feel pretty much set as I think we are going to be strong at that position,” Lopez said. “I think both the North and South are wide open. No telling who is going to be the top team.”

Three-time defending Northern League and 2A state champion Pershing County graduated 14 off the team that had gone 34-2 the past three years.

The Bobcats open the season Aug. 23 with a visit from Layton Christian Academy of Layton, Utah, south of Ogden. The Eagles had a 3-7 season last year. White Pine will be their second game of the season, as Layton Christian opened the season with Parowan Aug. 16.

The Bobcats and Eagles have played twice before, in 2008 and 2009. Layton won each time.

The schedule thereafter is all 2A North league games until the final game of the season hosting Needles Nov. 1, last year’s 2A state runner-up to Pershing County and the two-time defending 2A South league champion.

White Pine last made the 2A playoffs in 2015, but lost 28-0 to Needles, and Lopez said, “I’ve got confidence we can get there this year.”

Assistant coaches this year for the Bobcats will be Thomas Lawrence, Jodi Finicum and Rick Knudsen.

The White Pine volleyball team also begins the season this weekend, hosting its own preseason tournament, but there was no preview report given by coach Kenna Almberg.

Next week, the girls will be at the Battle Mountain tournament.