This is the sixth part in Northstar Football News' profiles of teams who might surprise in the 2017 season. From now until August 31, we will attempt highlight a “sleeper” team from each level that we believe will have a bounce back year this fall after finishing with a .500 or worse record in 2016.
NFN's 2017 2A sleeper: Barnum Bombers
2016 Record: 1-7
Returning starters: Quinn Casey RB/LB, Jordan Siekirt OL/DL, Colton Zambory OL, Tyler Nynas QB.DB, Ryan Weller OL, Sam Goodwin OL/DL, Nathan Moors OL/DL, Jared Haley TE, Jordan Haley, Noah Parker LB, Dakota Litfin DB, Jacob Nynas LB, Ryan Weller DL
With starting quarterback Tyler Nynas and all five starting linemen returning, the Bombers are sure to improve on their one win record from last season. They also have the mindset to do it.
“This team has worked hard in the offseason and is hungry to get back to winning,” Bombers' head coach Mike Klyne said. “A very young core is coming of age, and a lot of experience as freshmen and sophomores is playing a huge role in their preparation for this season.”
In addition to the experience on offense, the defense will return nearly their entire squad from 2016. Nine starters return on that side of the ball. Those returning starters include a guy at each level that Klyne feels will be critical for the defense this season – linebacker Jacob Nynas, defensive back Dakota Litfin and defensive lineman Jordan Siekirt. Unlike previous years the team will also have some depth with some sophomores who Klyne feels will be able to contribute early on in the season.
Barnum is only three years removed from a stretch of seasons in which they were consistently winning seven plus games a season. The football culture is still strong in Barnum. Although they have struggled the last few years all it will take is a couple of solid classes and with the foundation, the Bombers should quickly recover from a few mediocre seasons.
Barnum appears – with the juniors and seniors this year – to have those solid classes ready to go.