American Falls High School
Conference: 3A South East Idaho Conference
Head Coach: Tony Cade
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: Assistant Coach at Hillcrest HS – 2014
Assistant Coach at Blackfoot HS – 2008-2013
Record Last Year: 2-7
State Titles: None
Paul Orr – OL/DL
Rich Westland – Defensive Coordinator
Jason Stucki – Director of Football Operations
Tate Grover, RB/LB, Senior
Joey Morris, WR/DB, Senior
Tyler Beck, OG/FB/LB, Junior
Travis Dalkhe, OG/DL, Senior
Dallen Adkins, OL/DL, Senior
Dillinger Faucet, WR/DB, Senior
Incoming “impact” players:
Boone Giulio, QB, Sophomore
Colton Adamson, TE/LB, Sophomore
Luis Cervantes, RB/LB, Sophomore
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The word ‘youth’ is defined as ‘the condition of being young; the first or early period of anything’.
Indeed, the word ‘youth’ describes the current state of the American Falls football program.
It’s a youth movement all around for the Beavers, including bringing in a first-time head coach. Tony Cade, former assistant coach at Hillcrest and Blackfoot, takes over from Tyler Shafer who resigned in May. Cade hasn’t had much time to assemble and organize his program after having been hired in early June. Despite the short preparation time, Cade knows that American Falls is the spot for him.
“I’ve been around a lot of kids and a lot of football. It’s just a treat for me to go to a job like this where I can see potential,” said Cade to the Idaho State Journal in June. “It just seems like a great fit for me to put my thumb on a program where I can start from scratch basically and help a struggling program out.”
Cade and his staff understand that a turnaround won’t happen quickly. The Beavers, who endured consecutive 2-7 seasons the last two years, bring back a very young cast of players. But Cade says his young athletes are a lot like the other definition of ‘youth’: “the characteristics of appearance, freshness, vigor and spirit of one who is young”.
“We have a great class of young kids who are fast and hungry,” he said. “I am most excited to see the talent we will put on the field with a majority of our players being sophomores. They are hard workers and have worked hard in the off-season to learn a new offense. It will be fun to see their growth and potential.”
That’s not to say he doesn’t have any seniors or juniors available at his disposal.
Senior running back Tate Grover returns to the offense along with fellow senior wide receivers Dillinger Faucet and Joey Morris. They are joined by senior linemen Travis Dahlke and Dallen Adkins, who will anchor that unit. Junior Tyler Beck will rotate between the offensive line and fullback depending on need.
Those returning starters will be supplemented by the youth movement with several sophomores, including quarterback Boone Giulio, tight end Colton Adamson, and running back Luis Cervantes. Cade plans to help his players break down old habits and get back to the basics.
“Compared to years past, we want to emphasize fundamentals and technique qualities that have been lacking at American Falls for some time,” he said.
Defensively, Grover and Beck will lead the way from their linebacking position. Adamson and Cervantes will also help anchor that level of defense. Cade says that portion of the defense is their strongest.
“We have a strong, talented linebacking core. They will have to mature a lot as almost all of them are sophomores,” he said. “We want to be aggressive and sound: know our responsibilities and do things right.”
Dahlke and Adkins will anchor the defensive line along with a host of sophomores. Morris and Faucet also return to lead the secondary. Cade hopes that better play on offense can lead to better, more sound defensive play too.
“The lack of offense last year led to the defense having to be on the field a lot from what I saw,” he said. “We hope to have more stops and turnovers – more three-and-outs to keep our defense healthy and hungry.”
Health is certainly a key factor at American Falls. Injuries and players absences from the team took its toll, especially towards the end of the season.
“We have to stay healthy,” Cade said. “Even though our numbers have improved, we will have many starters going on both sides of the ball.”
While every game is important, Cade points to three games on their schedule as the ‘must-see’ games for the fans.
“Aberdeen on opening week is our rivalry game… and the start of a new era,” he said. “Our game against Battle Mountain, Nevada should be fun – seeing an out-of-state team roll into the Dam. And the Snake River game – they are state champions, it’s a district game, and a huge conference rivalry.”
Success may not come quickly for the Beavers. But they are all in it for the long haul – players, coaches, everyone. Those sophomores will eventually become juniors and seniors, full of experience and talent. And with the right coaching staff, they hope to be a consistently tough program for years to come.