Garden Valley High School
Conference: 1AD2 Long Pin Conference
Classification: 1A D2
Head Coach: Jason Yearsley
Years as Head Coach: 5th Season
Record Last Year: 3-6
Jason Van Dyk
Darell Lindstrom, WR
Spencer Ward, OL,DL
Zack Johnsom, RB
Photo By: Chris Melgaard - #22 Zack Johnson
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Michael Yearsley QB/LB
Jimmy Dovel RB/LB
Incoming “impact” players:
Zack Johnson RB, 11
Spencer Ward, OL/DL 11
Written by: Chris Langrill
People often comfort the elderly by saying that age is a frame of mind.
Well, the way Garden Valley coach Jason Yearsley sees it, youth can be a frame of mind, too.
“We're very young, but I feel like if we forget that and just go out there and play we can compete with anybody,” the fifth-year coach said.
Yearsley said during the first week of practice the Wolverines, who went 3-6 last season, focused on tackling and blocking.
“We just want guys to go 100 percent all the time, from the time the ball is snapped to when the whistle blows,” he said. “We don't want players to stop after they block once or watch someone else make the tackle. We're looking at gang tackling and downfield blocking as our main focus.”
One of the biggest themes of camp is who will take over at quarterback. Yearsley said he plans on seeing how two players – senior Zach Sanders and sophomore Darell Peppers – perform during the team's first game.
“Zach is a little more level-headed, but he doesn't have quite the arm that Darell has,” Yearsley said. “Darell is a little more athletic.”
Yearsley isn't opposed to the idea of playing both quarterbacks throughout the season.
“I'm hoping we'll figure out who is more of a gamer,” he said. “But if it's both of them we'll let them take a series at a time or whoever's playing better will play.”
Quarterbacks aside, Yearsley said his team will have some players to watch this season.
“Zack Johnson has the potential to be the best player in the league,” he said. “He's had injuries every year, so if he can stay healthy he will be a pretty big asset for us. … But he plays harder than his body will take sometimes.”
Barring injury, look for Yearsley to find any number of ways to get the ball in the running back's hands.
“He's a big, strong runner … and he's just super-athletic,” Yearsley said. “He's one of those kids who is just good at everything he does. He catches really well, so we'll put him in the slot a lot.”
And if good things come in big packages, then Garden Valley fans should be pretty excited about junior lineman Spencer Ward this season.
“Spencer is somebody to watch, for sure,” Yearsley said. “He's a big boy. He's over 300 pounds, but he's got some speed to him.”
Ward could be force on both sides of the ball, too.
“He's dominant on the O-line, but he's looking really good on the defensive line, as well,” Yearsley said. “He definitely has the size, the strength and the speed to really dominate at our level.”