BISMARCK: Lions confident behind Jolly

Conference: 5-3A
Coach: Lewis Jolly
’14 Record: 4-7 (2-5)

This fall, Lewis Jolly takes over a Bismarck team that is ready to build off of last year’s success.

“We returned to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus,” Jolly said. “The running game was a bright spot for us. We defeated Glen Rose for the first time in at least 10 years.”

Ryan Sutton and Ben Ramirez return at running back in Bismarck’s strong ground attack. The Lions rushed for more than 3,000 yards in 2014. Zack Roberts returns at quarterback after an all-conference 2014. Combined, those three accounted for two-thirds of the Bismarck offense last season. Haden Short returns at wingback, and Joe Chancellor is back at tight end. The Lions return four of the their five starters on the offensive line: Tanner Corley and Jacob Jackson (tackles), Evan Morgan (guard) and John Boothe (center).

“Offensively we will be based on the Wing-T with a few variations from last year,” Jolly said. “We will be a run heavy offense with the focus being physical at the line of scrimmage.”

Chancellor and Morgan also start on the defensive line at end and tackle, respectively. Cole McSwain and Ramirez return at linebacker. Braden Grill, Blue Baswell, Roberts, Sutton and Haden Short make up the secondary.

“Defensively we will be based out of the 4-2-5 with an emphasis on stopping the run and limiting big plays,” Jolly said. “The 5-3A is always a very tough conference and will be again this year. Prescott should be a Top 5 team going into the season, and conference opponents Benton Harmony Grove and Episcopal Collegiate have two of the best players in 3A. Glen Rose and Jessieville never stay down for long and will be looking to return to the top with Centerpoint being a very tough out as well.”

5 Players to Watch:
Zack Roberts (RB/DB)
Ben Ramirez (RB/LB)
Joe Chancellor (TE/DE)
Cole McSwain (LB/TE)
Skyler Checots (DB)


1 Must-see Game:
“Centerpoint is a big rivalry game with the winner (Centerpoint the last three years) being awarded the ‘Hammer Down’ trophy.” — Jolly

2015 Schedule:
Sept. 4        at Spring Hill
Sept. 11    Poyen
Sept. 18    at Cutter MS
Sept. 25    Jessieville
Oct. 2        at Benton Harmony Grove
Oct. 9        Glen Rose
Oct. 16        at Horatio
Oct. 23        Episcopal
Oct. 30        at Prescott
Nov. 5        Centerpoint