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Honkers first football game is Tuesday

Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central head football coach Courtney Seime started the 2013 season August 14th with a camp-out on the football field, complete with tents and an icehouse for sleeping overnight and fresh caramel rolls for breakfast the next morning, courtesy of school district head cook Sharon Wink.

8/21/13 (Wed)

2013 Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central Varsity Football Team

By Caroline Downs

Kenmare-Bowbells-Burke Central head football coach Courtney Seime started the 2013 season August 14th with a camp-out on the football field, complete with tents and an icehouse for sleeping overnight and fresh caramel rolls for breakfast the next morning, courtesy of school district head cook Sharon Wink.

“We had a midnight practice under the lights,” said Seime. “The next morning, we were up at 7:15, ate breakfast at 7:30 and were on the field at 8. The boys are already asking if we can do it again next year.”

The success of that opening practice has continued through the first week as 17 Honkers have honed their football skills to prepare for the Region 3 nine-man season.

“We’ve got a lot of playing experience this year,” Seime said. “We have a lot of kids who’ve been starting since their freshman year and they have a lot of ballgames under their belt.”

The Honkers have struggled in nine-man play the past two seasons, going 2-7 and 1-7 respectively, sending a team filled with freshmen and sophomores onto the field against strong programs loaded with upperclassmen.

However, the K-B-BC team has its own core of junior and senior players this season, and the face of Region 3 has changed with some team realignments.

“Overall, I’m excited about this season,” said Seime. “We’ve been through a couple of painful years, but these boys are improving. They haven’t given up on themselves and they’re still here, wanting to succeed.”

For Seime, that success will come with old-fashioned, smash-mouth football. “We’ll throw some,” he said, “but mostly we’ll keep the ball on the ground and run it. We want to get four yards at a crack and march down the field.”

The Honkers have nearly another week of practice before their first game, scheduled for August 27th at Divide County. Seime acknowledged some elements still have to come together on the field.

“I’ve got 17 guys who are committed, and I’ve got good leaders in my seniors,” he said. “They encourage each other. About half our team is freshmen, so they’re getting thrown into the mix fast. We need to work on getting in a rhythm with each other and we have guys in positions they haven’t played before.”

He paused and nodded. “Hopefully, we can adjust fast,” he said.

Fans will see junior Hunter Harris and sophomore Kyler Melby sharing the quarterback position, depending on the plays Seime wants to see. He’s looking for seniors Douglas Winzenburg and Kirkland Melby, along with Harris, to handle some of the running duties on offense behind an experienced line.

Winzenburg and Kirkland Melby agreed with Seime about the team’s dedication this year. “We always push ourselves and we always push each other,” said Winzenburg. “There’s no slacking off here.”

“This is the team to have for my senior year,” added Kirkland Melby. He smiled and said, “I think we’re going to win a few more games this year.”

Both Melby and Winzenburg want to see their younger teammates show more confidence on the field. “We tell them don’t stop, don’t give up [on plays],” Melby said.

“Trust your teammates, trust yourself,” said Winzenburg. “Don’t overthink each play.”

Like Seime, the two seniors are looking forward to matching up against the new teams in Region 3, including two state runners-up in Divide County and Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn. “Those should be some good games,” Melby said.

“I’ve always had a rivalry with [teams from] Divide County,” added Winzenburg, who attends Bowbells High School. “In my senior year, for the first game, we’re going to come out with a bang. This will be a test for both teams.”

“That’s a game we really want to be competitive in,” Seime said. “Divide County has an excellent program.”

Honkers roster
and schedule
Seniors leading the Honkers this season are Kirkland Melby and Douglas Winzenburg.

Four juniors take the field, include Alex Giese, Hunter Harris, Spencer King and Jack Skjordal.

Sophomores stepping up their game are Jordan Hanson, Ty Jesz, Konnor Keysor and Kyler Melby.

Freshmen wearing the maroon and gold include Yumar Garcia, Paul Holter, Kolton Jesz, Jayson Knutson, Caden Mau, Dax Nelson and Hunter Rodin.

Team stats will be handled by Tayler Mau, Shelby Kittelson and Kelsey Ringsaker.

Seime shares coaching duties with assistants Brock Zietz and Guillermo Santizo.

With the new make-up of Region 3, the Honkers will be playing more games close to home this season, beginning Tuesday night at Crosby when they face the Divide County Maroons.

K-B-BC opens on the home field on Saturday, August 31st, against a powerhouse Westhope-Newburg-Glenburn team, with kickoff at 2 pm.

Friday night football, with games beginning at 7 pm, returns September 6th when the Honkers travel to St. John. They stay on the road to play TGU on the 13th, then return to Kenmare to host Drake/Anamoose on the 20th. September closes with K-B-BC playing the MLS Mavericks in Mohall.

October begins with the Honkers’ Homecoming week and a game October 4th against New Town.

K-B-BC travels to Parshall on October 11th and finishes regular season play against Dunseith at home on Saturday, October 19th, with a 2 pm kickoff time.

Region 3 nine-man playoff games start October 25th, with quarter-finals scheduled for November 1st and semi-finals on the 8th. The Class B nine-man championship Dakota Bowl will be played November 15th.

“Come out and support the team,” Seime said. “We’ve got a new region this year and you’ll see teams we haven’t played for the last few years.”

Kirkland Melby and Winzenburg also hope the team draws a large crowd for home and road games. “The fans ignite us,” said Winzenburg. “They start cheering and we build off their intensity. It feels awesome when people are behind us.”

“The fans will be a big part of our game this year,” Melby added. “Come out and watch. I think you’re going to see a pretty good season.”