Valley High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Brian Ayers
Years as Head Coach: 10th season
Previous Experience: Previous 11 years an assistant at Valley
Record Last Year: 10-2
State Titles: 1992
Ben Taylor (Sr, QB/DB)
Kaleb Burk (Sr, RB/LB)
Doug Elorrieta (Sr, OL/DL)
Returning Players with Honors:
Taylor (2nd-Team All State)
Burk (2nd-Team All State)
Elorrieta (2nd-Team All State)
Taylor Coats (1st Team All State)
Jacob Henry (All-Sawtooth WR)
Garrett Mussmann (All-Sawtooth WR)
Photo By: Steve Conner - #34 Kaleb Burk & #2 Ben Taylor
“Key Players” lost from last year:
TE Cole Lickley
OL/LB Jason Montgomery
Incoming “impact” players:
Mike Elorrieta (Jr, WR/DB)
Bryce Tverdy (Jr, WR/LB)
Jack Burton (Jr. OL/DL)
Tim Carlquist (Jr, WR/LB)
Written by: Will Hoenike (@willhoenike)
Each season, football fans look around to see if they can identify teams that could do big things to keep their eyes on.
Let us save you a little time – Valley could do big things. Keep your eyes on the Vikings in the 1A, Division I classification.
Coach Brian Ayers’ team reached the 1A D1 state championship game where it ran into the buzzsaw known as Prairie High School. No shame in losing to the Pirates – Prairie dominated the classification last season, finishing with a perfect season where no game was decided by fewer than 30 points.
Now, it could be Valley’s turn to play the role of Idaho’s eight-man football bullies.
The Vikings return two players voted on to the Idaho 1A All State football first team – Kaleb Burk and Taylor Coats. Burk was named first-team as a linebacker and second team as a running back. Lineman Doug Elorrieta was second-team All State on both offense and defense.
Quarterback Ben Taylor returns after being named the Sawtooth Conference player of the year as a junior as well as receiving recognition from the Twin Falls Times-News and KMVT-TV. He also earned second-team All State recognition. The team also returns All Conference receivers Jacob Henry and Garrett Mussmann on offense and talented linebacker Jake Nelson on defense.
That’s a whole lot of talent coming back.
“We are returning two offensive linemen (Elorrieta and Juan Damian), each having successful junior campaigns,” Ayers said, looking forward at the 2015 season. “The focus will be to keep a balanced pass-to-run attack to create preparation issues for opposing teams.”
“Our goal,” Ayers continued. “Is to put the guys in the best possible position to be successful, be athletes and make plays.”
With a team that returns six of eight starters – three of whom earned All State recognition – it seems the Vikings are in just such a position. Defending champion Prairie, who returns the state’s 1A Player of the Year in Jake Bruner as well as All State TE/DE Isaiah Shears, remains a formidable foe. As do long-time district rivals Oakley and Raft River.
“Both programs have long traditions of success in the eight-man ranks and will put quality teams on the field, year after year.” Ayers said of his District IV rivals. In fact, Raft River, who visits Valley on Sept. 25, was the lone team to defeat the Vikings during the regular season last year.
The Vikings alternate home and road games each week all season, starting with a road game at Castleford on Aug. 28 and wrapping up at home against Challis on Oct. 23.