South Fremont High School
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Head Coach: Chad Hill
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: 10 years as South Fremont assistant coach
Record Last Year: 7-3
State Titles: None
Rod Coverley (DC/DB)
Zach Goulding (OC/QB)
Brandon Vining (O-Line)
Ryon Pope (WR)
Ben Hildebrand (LB)
Micah Pope (D-Line)
Cody Miller (RB)
Tucker Olson, RB/LB, 12
Tyler Barney, WR/DB, 12
Alec Pope, RB/DB, 12
Cody Tucker, QB/DB, 12
Tyler Platts, OL/LB
Caden Madairy, OL/DL, 12
Kurt Thompson, OL/DL, 12
Drew Stoddard, OL/LB, 11
Blake Bartschi, WR/DL, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Tyler Barney, WR/DB, 12, 1st Team 3A MRC WR and 2nd Team 3A MRC DB
Tucker Olson, RB/LB, 12, 1st Team 3A MRC LB
Tyler Platts, OL/LB, 12, 2nd Team 3A MRC OL
Drew Stoddard, OL/LB, 2nd Team 3A MRC LB
Blake Bartschi, WR/DL, Honorable Mention 3A MRC WR/DL
Cody Tucker, QB/DB, Honorable Mention 3A MRC DB
Photo By: Willy Harris - #11 Cody Tucker
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Junior Gonzalez, Offensive MVP 3A MRC
Junior Coverley, Co-Defensive MVP 3A MRC
Brock Rinehart, 1st Team 3A MRC OL
Joseph Davenport, 1st Team 3A MRC OL, 2nd Team 3A MRC DL
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The 2014 football season was a landmark one for the South Fremont Cougars.
They posted their first winning record since 2011, secured their first playoff berth and playoff victory since 2010, and won seven games for the first time since 2009.
Indeed, things are looking up for the southern Fremont county program in 2015.
Chad Hill returns for his fourth season at the helm of the Cougars, hoping to improve on last year’s stellar campaign. And the cupboard of talent is not bare at South Fremont.
“We had a great summer and a great camp as a team,” Hill said. “I’m very excited to see how we compete this year.”
The 2014 edition of the offense was able to turn a corner from previous years, racking up an average of 29.0 points per game. But, what does the 2015 edition bring to the table?
“We bring a lot of weapons back on offense this year,” said Hill. “We want to spread the ball around to our weapons and let them make plays.”
Those weapons he is referring to are a senior-laden cast, led by 1st Team All-Mountain Rivers Conference selection Tyler Barney from the receiver slot. Barney hauled in 31 passes for 659 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Junior Blake Bartschi, a 6’6” wide receiver, will compliment Barney in the passing game.
They are joined by senior running backs Alec Pope and Tucker Olson. Hill hopes that Pope and Olson can become an effective one-two punch for the Cougars this year.
“We want to improve our running game this season,” he said. “We lost a great quarterback in Junior Gonzalez who could throw the ball all over the field. We will still need to be able to throw the ball, but we need to use our run game more effectively this year.”
Replacing the Mountain Rivers Conference Offensive Player of the Year in Gonzalez will be no easy task. The reigns have been handed over to senior Cody Tucker. While he will not be expected to carry the same passing load as Gonzalez did, his play will be key as the Cougars look to improve their rushing attack while maintaining balance on offense.
“We have two returning starters on the line in Drew Stoddard and Tyler Platts. They are our anchors. We will look to run the ball more this year behind them.”
On the defensive side of the ball, Hill pointed to two players who could really raise some eyebrows this season.
“We return Tucker Olson and Drew Stoddard to our linebacking core,” he said. “We hope to keep these guys free and let them fly around and make plays for us on defense. I feel that we have two of the best linebackers around… they will be fun to watch this year.”
Also returning to the defense are defensive backs Tyler Barney and Alec Pope to solidify the secondary. However, there could be a steep learning curve for another part of the defense.
“We need to develop a couple of defensive linemen,” Hill said. “We lost three defensive linemen to graduation. Fortunately, we have a lot of options so it will be fun to see who steps up to fill those roles. I’m very excited to watch our defense this year.”
The key overall for South Fremont this season may be their health. With so many players playing on both sides of the ball, Hill stressed that the key to winning the conference and being successful this year will be keeping everyone healthy.
In 2014, the Cougars compiled a 7-3 record, with two of the losses coming at the hands of eventual state champion Snake River and the other against the previous two-time state champion Shelley Russets.
This season, South Fremont welcomes to the defending 3A state champions to St. Anthony.
“We’re excited to open up with the reigning champs,” Hill said. “We’re also very excited for our conference slate. Every game should be a battle this year.”
That conference schedule include a Sept. 25 trip to Driggs to take on Teton, an Oct. 9 date at arch-rival Sugar-Salem, and a home date on Oct. 22 with Shelley. According to Hill, the matchup against Sugar-Salem on the road is one to especially watch out for.
“The Sugar game is always the ‘must-see’ game for our fans,” he said. “They are our rival and we beat them on a last minute touchdown pass last year.”
With many of the players on the roster having tasted the success of a 3A state basketball championship in 2015, the Cougars hope they can carry the momentum and confidence from that victory onto the gridiron this season… and maybe translate it into a state championship of the football variety.