Players ready to represent themselves, their team and their school with pride By Jillian Chandler | Photo by Hannah Sucsy of Parker Images
This season marks Travis Hinthorn’s 24th year of coaching Badger football at both the high school and middle school levels, and his fourth year as head coach for the Bonners Ferry High School Badgers—his sixth year with this group of seniors, whom he coached for two years when they were in middle school. “They are a great group of kids, there was a high school opening, and I wanted to continue the journey with them in high school,” Coach Hinthorn shares. “They have leadership, they've worked hard, they have put time in the weight room and on the field, they have grown as athletes and people, and we are looking forward to watching them have the success they deserve.”
This is a group who Travis believes represent themselves, their team and their school well. They are not only determined athletes but successful students in the classroom, leaders in the school, and work hard in the community.
Hinthorn is joined by Badger football coaches Danny Swift, Andy Rice, Alec Hamilton, Kenny Swift, Chris Sabin, Jason Trujillo, and Dave Koon, all who have been coaching with Travis the four years since he’s been there.
“Dave has been part of Badger football since I was a player, and I coached Andy, Danny and Kenny in high school and Alec in middle school,” smiles Travis. “They are amazing guys with huge Badger hearts. We work hard, we work well together as a coaching staff, we have fun, and we're working to help these young men become amazing football players, students and young adults.”
Their philosophy is for each of these athletes to be a better person and player today than they were yesterday, utilizing football to “build relationships, pride and character within our kids—and we have fun while doing it,” affirms Coach Hinthorn. “Not only do we want them to be amazing football players on the field, we want them to be excellent human beings in all aspects of life.”
Expectations are set high. Athletes are expected to come to practice each day, ready to compete and work hard. They are expected to be committed, push themselves and each other, and come with a positive, coachable attitude. They are expected to care about the team, their school, themselves, each other, and the Badger program. “As coaches, players can expect the same from us,” affirms Travis. “We are committed, we hold them accountable, we push them to get better, we celebrate successes, and we push through struggles.”
Coach Hinthorn encourages the community to come out and show their support to the football team this season. “It’s been a few seasons ago, but I still remember Friday nights under the lights with the crowd cheering, the band playing our fight song, and the community rallying and celebrating,” he remembers fondly. “I coach multiple sports, and this is my 76th coaching season. I know how important community support is for all teams.
He goes on to say, “One thing special about football that is different from other sports is the community aspect. So many people support our sports programs in a variety of ways. Whether it's through showing up at games, donating financially, flipping burgers at the concession stand, coming to the Homecoming parade, football is special, and we appreciate each and every supportive gesture.”
The coaches and their players are ready to ring the victory bell and sing the Badger Fight Song several times this season, and they look forward to seeing the community filling the stands to cheer them on. “If you hear a train horn on a Friday night, don’t think there’s a new track in town; it’s hopefully our team scoring a lot of touchdowns,” says Travis, adding, “Go Badgers!”