Gerry Steele
The Baker City Herald

By Gerry Steele

Baker will be looking fgor a possible Greater Oregon League "three-peat" this season when the high school football wars begin.

The Bulldogs have won the past two GOL crowns, finishing the Class 4A season with an 8-3 overall record a year ago.

Coach Dave Johnson, who has led the Bulldogs to th epost season every year since taking the head job in 2002, said this year's club has 19 positions that will be filled by players with at least some varsity playing time a year ago.

"You can't coach experience," Johnson said.

"We have more things in than this same time a year ago for that very reason," he said.

"And, we have some really good athletic kids."

The bulk of the returning Bulldogs are:

Quarterback: Senior left-hander Braden Phillips returns to lead the Baker offense.

His No. 1 backup will be sophomore Thomas Hamilton.

Running back: Senior Trent Taylor steps in as the leading ball carrier.

Others in the picture are Ben Baxter and Micah Mespelt.

Receivers: The Bulldogs return a talented group of pass catchers led by Dane Bachman, Darren Dolby, and Hamilton.

Mason Cline and Dan Stinson also will see their share of aerials.

Offensive line: The offensive line did not graduate many a year ago.

Returning players include Danny O'Neal, JordenOsborn, and Grayson Swiger.

Others along the line are Zach Shively, Tyler Talbot and Tyson Walton.

Defensive line: Osborn, O'Neal an dSwiger anchor the defensive front along with Gabe Logsdon.

Linebackers: Taylor, Talbot and Lukas Huggins lead the second tier of defense.

Backs: - Dolby, Bachman, Phillips and Hamilton are the front-line defensive secondary.

Specialists: Taylor will handle the placekicking duties, and Bachman the punting.