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Highland High School

School Info
Conference: 5A District 5-6 Conference
Classification: 5A


Head Coach: Gino Mariani

Years as Head Coach: 13 years

Previous Experience: 11 years @ Pocatello High School

Record Last Year: 11-1

State Titles: 72, 73, 84, 87, 93, 95, 97, 98, 00, 02, 08,

Assistant Coaches:
Warren Whitaker, Marty Hoge, John Banks, George Yarno,
Nick Sorrell, Chris Frost



Who do you have coming back this year?
(Dakota Tillotson QB (SS) 12)
(Tristen Hoge OL 12)
(Clay Hirschi OL 12)
(Connor Butterfield OL/DT 12)
(Cooper Anderson DE 12)
(T.J. Togiai DT 12)
(Kyler Manu LB 12)
(James Ryan LB 12)

Any Returning Players with Honors?
Tristen Hoge OL All- Idaho First Team, Gatorade Player of the Year 2013 Idaho, Max Preps preseason 1st team All-American selection 2014, Army All-American bowl participant 2014; Cooper Anderson DE 1st team All-Conference; T.J. Togiai DT 1st team All-Conference; Kyler Manu LB All-Idaho First Team;

Any “Key Players” that you lost from last year?
Thad Hansen RB – Very productive as a runner and receiver; Mitch Haber WR – Impact player on Special Teams; Dallin Rodriguez K tremendous kicker with touchback ability every K.O.

Do you have any new incoming “impact” players?
Jeremiah Kelemente OL/DL 12; Wayne Kirby DE 11; Logan Schmidt WR 12; Connor Harding WR 11; Tamalii Campbell WR; Kelen Wadsworth LB 12;

Photo By: Brad Barlow - #66 Tristen Hoge
As a team, what are your offensive strengths?
Balance running and throwing. Ability to control the ball with multiple offensive looks.

Offensive areas you hope to improve on over last year:
Match last year’s output and consistency.

As a team, what are your defensive strengths?
We will miss Greg Gwinn DB 11 All-Idaho 1st team corner from a year ago (ACL); That said we will depend on our front 7 to create havoc for opposing teams.

Defensive Areas you hope to improve on over last year:
Secondary play needs to be more consistent.

Does your team have a motto/theme for the upcoming season?
Reloaded and poised for success – New Year, new team, one dream - Brotherhood

What are you most excited about in regards to this year’s team?
We have reloaded and are ready for a title run.

For the fans, what is the must-see game of the year on your schedule?
Highland vs Orem 0 week; Opener Rocky Mountain Rumble; Highland @ CDA week 5 – Enough said

What is the ‘X-Factor’ to having success this season as a team?
Health. Period.

If you could change one rule in high school football, what would it be?
Cut block down field. Make it more like the college game.

Besides the pay, the fame and the glory, why do you coach high school football?
Create a family environment for a fraternity of athletes whose journey will make solid young men, useful citizens, and enriched participants.

What makes your school the best place to coach for?
Expectations are high every year at Highland which is how you want it as a coach. Kids know what to expect when they choose to be a Highland Ram.


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