Rigby High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
Head Coach: Randy Waite
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: Head Coaching: Weston-McEwen High School 2 years, La Grande High School 2 years, Ontario High School 9 years.
Record Last Year: 6-5
State Titles: None
Norm Taylor – Defensive Coordinator/Outside Linebackers
Jeremy Livingston – Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
JC Oram – Offensive Line
Burke Mouser – Wide Receivers
Kip Blanchard – Wide Receivers
Jeff McKinlay – Running Backs
Brook Talbot – Defensive Backs
Vic Martinez – Defensive Line
Mike DaRonch – Inside Linebackers
Hayden Livingston, QB, Senior
Solo Taylor, ILB, Senior
Bo Byington, DB, Senior
Cody Heath, DB, Senior
Wyatt Poole, LB, Senior
Travis Bichsel, LB, Senior
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #12 Hayden Livingston
Incoming “impact” players:
Matt Anderson, RB, Senior
Camden Peterson, DL, Junior
Braden Perrenoud, TE, Junior
Bradley Hahn, RB/DB, Sophomore
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The football culture in Rigby has changed dramatically.
Just how drastic has it been? From 2005-2012, the Trojans won just 14 games, an average of 1.75 wins per season. In the last two seasons under the guidance of head coach Randy Waite, Rigby has won 14 games, made two playoff appearances, and reached the 4A state semifinals last season.
What’s in store for year three?
Well, for starters, youth… and a lot of it.
Rigby loses 10 starters on offense and eight on defense heading into the 2015 season. But the most experienced player returning this season also happens to play arguable the most important position.
Senior Hayden Livingston will operate the Trojans offense for the third straight campaign. His father, Jeremy Livingston, serves as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Under his tutelage, the younger Livingston hopes to have his best season yet for Rigby.
He will need to lean on his young supporting cast though. The Trojans success may depend on how quickly the offensive and defensive units can gel together. Senior Matt Anderson steps into the running back position vacated by the now-graduated Drew Zagula. Sophomore Bradley Hahn expects to see time in the backfield as well. Livingston will have a new target with incoming junior tight end Braden Perrenoud.
As for the overall look of the offense, Waite is hoping to use a key strength to help correct two weaknesses.
“We have a lot of speed,” he said, “but we need to run the ball with more toughness and execute play-action passes better.”
On the defensive side of things, there is more experienced talent returning along with a new crop of players anxious to prove their mettle. Leading the charge is senior linebacker Solo Taylor, who collected 165 tackles last season.
“His motor doesn’t stop. He’d run you down,” said Waite to the Post Register in December 2014. “If they broke one, he’d be the guy that catches them from behind. He just never gave up on any play, and that’s why he had so many tackles. He was in on basically every one of our defensive plays.”
Waite points to the strength of the linebacking core in leading the defense this year. Joining Taylor are fellow senior linebackers Wyatt Poole and Travis Bichsel. In the secondary, it’s seniors Bo Byington and Cody Heath that will anchor the third level of defense. Junior Camden Peterson steps in to solidify the defensive line.
There are two points of emphasis that Waite and his staff are focusing on defensively in 2015.
“We have to create turnovers and we have to get off the field on third down,” he said.
In year three of the Waite era at Rigby, the Trojans hope that their preparation and attention to detail can lead them to something they’ve never before tasted: a state championship. And the young guns on the squad are eager to do so.
“I like how our new guys are responding to it being their turn now,” Waite said.
Will 2015 be the year the Trojans become the big dog of the 4A District 5-6 conference? According to Waite, a game on Oct. 23 will determine if they are ready for it.
“Blackfoot is the must-see game of the year on the schedule,” he said. “If we want to take the next step as a program, we need to be able to beat them.”
The Trojans’ fell at home to the Broncos last year 35-13 in the de facto conference championship game. With this year’s game again being the final contest of the regular season, having all parts of the team available will be key. Waite pointed to the health of his team throughout the season as an important factor in being able to challenge for the conference crown.
With two years of a successful team framework in place and the willingness of the players to buy in to the system, watch out for the Rigby Trojans this year and beyond.