Parma High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
Head Coach: Jake Walgamott
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Four seasons at Parma as Defensive Coordinator; Head Coach Marsing (1 season); Assistant at Vallivue (1 season) and Nampa (10 seasons)
Record Last Year: 2-7
State Titles: 1996, 2008, 2009
Dawson, Pinz, OL/DL
Jordon Boyum, OL/DL
Returning Players with Honors:
Dawson (1st Team All-SRV RB, 2nd Team All-SRV LB)
Photo By: Chris Melgaard - #22 Jimmy Dawson
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Incoming “impact” players:
RB/DB Jesse Camacho (Soph)
WR/DB Briton Parker (Soph)
WR/DB Wyatt Neal (Jr)
Written by: Will Hoenike (@willhoenike)
When head coach Jake Walgamott and his staff of assistant look back at 2014, they likely see two different seasons – the wins and the losses.
It’s not that uncommon. After all, there’s usually a reason when you win (you play better) than when you lose (you don’t always play so well). Even though, the difference between the Panther W’s and L’s last fall was startling: in Parma’s two victories, it outscored its opposition 80-14. In its other seven contests, the Panthers were out-scored, 311-64.
That’s an average of seven points allowed in wins and 44 points allowed in losses.
An improved defense is a must for the Panthers if they hope to contend in the 3A Snake River Valley Conference. The player being asked to headline the charge defensively is linebacker Jimmy Dawson. As a junior, he was 2nd-Team All-SRV from his linebacker spot. Now, as a senior, he’ll be asked to lead a revamped unit that includes Jordon Boyum and Trace Painter up front and Payton Pinz in the secondary along with Jesse Camacho, Briton Parker and Wyatt Neal.
Perhaps the biggest help to the Panther defense will be an effective offense. Walgamott and his staff want to be able to run the football and that starts in the trenches with Boyum and Painter leading the way for Dawson, a thousand-yard rusher last fall.
The team is replacing two starters along the offensive line and also lost starting quarterback Aaron Hezletine but has plenty of game experience in Pinz moving under center. Camacho should also get some carries when Dawson needs a break.
Turnovers hurt Parma last season, especially down the stretch as the team struggled down the home stretch. Walgamott and his staff will work to improve in that area to keep the offense on the field.
Also hurting Parma last season was its conference. The Snake River Valley was strong, producing three of the eight state quarterfinalists, including an all-SRV semifinal when Fruitland defeated Emmett. The Panthers will get both of those team on its home field this season, part of a five-game home schedule that also includes Oregon power Vale and a 2A Nampa Christian team coming off of a six-win season.
Translation – the Panthers could have their work cut out for them this season. However, much of what ailed the team last season is controllable: fewer turnovers, better defensive execution.
Improvement in those two areas should close that gap between wins and losses as the team looks to make gains in a tough conference in 2015.