Shelley High School
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Head Coach: Travis Hobson
Years as Head Coach: 3rd
Previous Experience: 8 years assistant at Shelley
Record Last Year: 11-1
State Titles: 1974, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013
Richard Hobbs, Jake Monahan, Akilah Lacey, Barry Johnson, Burke Davis, Travis Perez, Mike Messick, John Crawford
Who do you have coming back this year?
Brandon Hadley OL Sr.;
Cole Harker OL/LB Sr. (All-Idaho 1st Team OL);
Tyler Fredrickson WR/DB/QB? Sr.;
Bracken Nelson DB/WR Sr. (All-MRC DB);
Jason Hathaway RB Sr.(All-MRC KR);
Tyler Bean LB/RB Sr.;
Kolton Murphy DL Sr.;
Preston Erikson DB/LB Sr.;
Dakota Robison LB SR.;
Any “Key Players” that you lost from last year?
Kaden Schmitt (QB) - His general poise, demeanor, experience and leadership.
Randy Bauer (RB) - His leadership in the huddle and work horse mentality.
Trevor Smith (DL) - His anchoring of the line and dominating performances.
Josh Peterson (WR/DB) - His big play ability.
Taylor Lund (WR/DB)- His athleticism and demand for a double team.
Do you have any new incoming “impact” players?
Braxton Smith, DB, Sr.;
Bryon Leckington, QB, So.;
Rollin Sutherin, RB, Jr.;
Kirklin Nelson, DE, Jr.;
Jason Burton, LB, Jr.;
Peyton Littlewood, OL, Jr.;
Colt Johnson, OL, Jr.;
Photo By: Linda Lemons - #39 Bracken Nelson
As a team, what are your offensive strengths?
Our three biggest strengths will be our speed size and depth. We’re the biggest we have ever been up front with Brandon Hadley, Cole Harker, Peyton Littlewood and Colt Johnson expecting to start. All four boast size and speed. Our skill positions are all fast and serviceable athletes. Tyler Fredrickson, Bracken Nelson, Braxton Smith and a handful of others will all see time at the receiver positions, while Jason Hathaway, Tyler Bean, Johnny Carranza (Jr.) and Dakota Robison will man the running back duties.
Offensive areas you hope to improve on over last year:
We would like to see a more balanced running game. We will continue to pass the ball but our running game never seemed to compliment the passing game. We would like to see that with a balance of inside, intermediate and perimeter running plays.
As a team, what are your defensive strengths?
Our biggest strengths on the defensive side of the ball will be our experience in the middle and backfields as well as our experienced depth. On paper, it seems like there is a legitimate two-deep depth chart at every defensive position where every athlete listed has significant varsity experience. Up front, we lose Trevor Smith but return Kolton Murphy. At linebacker, we lose Haydyn Walker but get back Cole Harker from his largely offensive only performance in 2013. In the secondary, we lose Josh Peterson but gain Braxton Smith an eerily similar athlete to Peterson. Our defense is expected to not miss much of a step from 2013 to 2014.
Defensive Areas you hope to improve on over last year:
The turnover ratio needs to increase to take that next step. Fast, aggressive and fundamental play is expected.
What are you most excited about in regards to this year’s team?
I’m anxious to see how the team handles the pressure. We saw some changes this offseason. I’m expecting the team to plug along like a machine, but that still remains to be seen. I have extremely high hopes for this group and as long as they stay focused and determined, the sky is the limit. However, the community has lofty expectations as well and how the team handles that pressure is something I’m excited to watch.
For the fans, what is the must-see game of the year on your schedule?
We don’t have a week off this year, so get a blindfold and throw a dart. It’ll be a “must-see” game.
What is the ‘X-Factor’ to having success this season as a team?
Camaraderie and dealing with pressure. Fortunately, they go hand-in-hand. The pressure isn’t going anywhere, so the best way to deal with it is to circle the wagons and focus on what’s in front of us as unit. If we have factions or separatists among us, it could be a death nail.
If you could change one rule in high school football, what would it be?
Just one? It’s hard to select just one, but I’d say the general grouping of rules on appearance and apparel. Kids these days want to look good (or at least what they think is ‘good’). Why limit them with a barrage of rules on wristbands above the wrist, face paint, exposed back pads, color and type of gloves, facemask shields, etc., etc.? We’re going to rule ourselves right out of the game, especially when most of it has no bearing on the outcome of the game.
Besides the pay, the fame and the glory, why do you coach high school football?
I love my job because I’m able to meet good people from around the globe. Football, like most sports, is a fraternity; it unites us. It’s something to talk about at family reunions; it’s something that gives us something to look forward too. It can be conversation.
What makes your school the best place to coach for?
We have a great community that cares about their sports. Our administration ensures that we have what we need to succeed, and our student-athletes take pride in who they represent. We have good kids and they know how to work.