Glenns Ferry High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Laif Morrison
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: 2 years assistant at Glenns Ferry
Record Last Year: 4-5
State Titles: 1995, 1996
QB/LB Kody Arellano
OL/DL Marco Ortiz
OL/LB Scott Bybee
RB/LB Mike Sanchez
RB/LB Brady Turner
WR/DB Carlos Gastulum
WR Colton Janousek
Returning Players with Honors:
Arellano (2nd-team All-Conference QB)
Sanchez (2nd-team All-Conference LB)
“Key Players” lost from last year:
OL/DL Jack Riggs
Incoming “impact” players:
WR/DB Erick Ballesteros
OL/LB Keyton Cook
Written by: Will Hoenike (@willhoenike)
It’s doubtful any of the players know about it, but there was a classic 80s commercial featuring NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino buying all of his offensive linemen Isotoner gloves, with the tag line of, “take care of the hands that take care of you.”
Consider it a candidate for unofficial slogan of the year for the Glenns Ferry Pilots.
Head Coach Laif Morrison, entering his second season piloting the Pilots, has an explosive playmaker at quarterback in junior Kody Arellano. Arellano ran for over a thousand yards last fall as a sophomore.
Problem is, the players who helped pave the way, his offensive linemen, all graduated.
That puts a shining light on the incoming linemen.
If they grow and adapt as fast as Morrison and his staff expect, Glenns Ferry will be in position to make a return trip to the 1A Division 1 playoffs again this season. Senior Marco Ortiz will lead the group up front along with fellow senior Scott Bybee. Sophomore Keyton Cook is a player Morrison anticipates could see a larger role along the offensive line this season.
Also a key piece of the puzzle is fullback Brady Turner. Morrison lauds the junior’s hands in the running and passing game but also says his pass protection is going to be vital to Glenns Ferry’s success this fall.
Offensive production won’t fall solely on Arellano’s shoulders. Along with Turner, the Pilots return senior running back Mike Sanchez and junior receiver Carlos Gastellum. Erick Ballesteros, making the transition from soccer to football, gives Arellano another weapon when the Pilots have the ball but Morrison says his go-to guy in the passing attack is receiver Colton Janousek. Janousek can make the big plays down the field and the big plays over the middle, both of which should prove invaluable to the Pilots offense.
Defensively, Morrison says the Pilots need to continue to make strides in pass defense. The head man points out that his team is in a pass-heavy conference so the ability to have success in pass coverage, much like the blocking on the offensive side of the ball, is crucial. Turner and Sanchez will man the linebacker position and Ortiz, a big body with a great work ethic, will be the key to the defensive line.
The Pilots won back-to-back state championships in 1995 and 1996. In the ensuing 20 years, Glenns Ferry has had some good seasons and some not-so-good seasons. This one has the looks of a solid season with promise for more, if the offensive line and pass defense do what the coaching staff expects them to do.
Glenns Ferry plays in a conference that features perennial toughies Oakley and Raft River along with a team that some see as a serious contender in the 1A Division 1 classification – Valley. Nobody said it was going to be easy but the Pilots should have the pieces to compete.
“I have not witnessed this much excitement for football season in years,” Morrison said. “We coaches spent the offseason revamping our offense and defense and believe we have what it takes to have a successful season.”