McCall - Donnelly High School
Conference: 2A Western Idaho Conference
Head Coach: Lee Leslie
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 31 years total: Kuna HS, Bishop Kelly HS, Kahuku HS (Hawaii), University of Utah, Arena Football
Record Last Year: 1-7
State Titles: None
#81 Kaden Deluna, Soph DE/TE, 6’4, 200
#72 Cameron Nay, SR NG/OL, 5’7, 210
#24 Tanner Bochweiler, SR WR/DB, 6’2, 175
#22 Miguel Rodriguez, JR WR/DB, 5’10, 165
#21 Doug Wilkenson, JR FB/LB, 6’0, 195
Photo By: Chris Melgaard - #21 Doug Wilkenson
“Key Players” lost from last year:
QB Hunter Onthink
Incoming “impact” players:
#12 Ben Knudson, Soph QB, 6’4, 210
#34 Kyle Sellers, Soph WR/DB, 5’9, 155
#17 Thomas Gebharts, Soph RB/LB/P, 6’2, 160
#88 Thomas Feugundes, OL/DL
River Park, JR OL/DE, 6’0, 175
#26 Logan Spade, WR/DB, 5’9, 150
Tater Ventz, OL/DL, 5’9, 160
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
That was the losing streak endured by the McCall-Donnelly Vandals prior to their season-ending 25-12 win at home vs. Marsing on Oct. 24, 2014. The streak extended all the way back to the conclusion of the 2012 season.
But a fresh face brings a fresh start.
Former Kuna and Bishop Kelly head coach Lee Leslie takes over the reigns at McCall-Donnelly this season and he hopes to make a quick impact.
“We have good kids who are hungry for success,” said Leslie. “We’re at the bottom of the mountain right now, but it’s time to climb.”
The phrase ‘Time To Climb’ is the theme of this year’s Vandals. However, they will be attempting that climb with a relatively young group of athletes.
“We’re very young this year”, Leslie said. “Overall, our skill positions are young, especially at quarterback and running back. However, we have quick kids and an offense with wide open multiple sets.”
Sophomore Ben Knudson will take over under center this season from the now graduated Hunter Onthink. The 6’4, 210 lb quarterback will figure to be an instrumental piece of the newly designed Vandal offense. He’ll have a few weapons to work with too, as senior receiver Tanner Bochweiler and junior wideout Miguel Rodriguez return to the squad this year.
Knudson’s fellow classmate Kaden Deluna should also be a large part of the picture. The 6’4, 200 lb tight end should certainly be a cause of concern for opposing defenses.
With regards to his own defense, Leslie knows there is work to be done.
“We gave up a ton of points,” he said. “This year, we have to focus on not giving up the big play and hustle to the ball. Our key is going to be takeaways.”
Senior nose guard Cameron Nay will anchor a young defensive line. Returning junior linebacker Doug Wilkenson will lead the second wave of defenders, with Bochweiler, Rodriguez, and Jordan Devon patrolling the secondary.
The program will be aided by the institution of a more stringent weight room regimen, which Leslie hopes will increase performance on the field.
“Our kids have to buy into our weight room philosophy and work ethic to have success,” Leslie said.
Not only is football a physical game, but it’s a mental one. And Leslie knows the mentality surrounding the football program has to change.
“We have to change a 1-8 mentality”, he said. “We can’t panic when things go wrong.”
The Vandals can only rise from the doldrums of defeat. How fast they rise is up to them.