Challis High School
Conference: 1AD1 High Desert Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: T.T. Cain
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 4 years as Challis assistant coach over linebackers and defense.
Record Last Year: 3-6
State Titles: 1 total - 1981
Brent Cutler - OL/LB
Ron Jones - OC/WR/RB/DL
Tom Stillwaugh - RB/WR/QB/S/SS
Josh Graham - DL
Austin Cutler, HB/S, Senior
Pete Bradshaw, FB/LB, Sophomore
Jack Penniger, HB/S, Senior
Wyatt Naillon, G/LB, Sophomore
Marcos Ruelas, TE/DE, Senior
Dustin Stillwaugh, TE/S, Sophomore
Tristan Stillwaugh, QB/S, Junior
Justin Rembelski, LB/FB, Sophomore
Hunter Cain, C/NG, Junior
Danny Ziegler, G/DE, Sophomore
Mike Cotant, G/LB, Junior
Jake Plummer, HB/DE
Jason Rembelski, TE/LB, Junior
Zane Corrigan, TE/DE, Senior
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Brandon Hamilton, QB/S - 1st Team All-Conference QB
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
The Challis Vikings may have a different feel to their team this season.
Not because of a vast amount of new players putting on the pads, but because of a change in style - one that returns to the roots of football.
Indeed, switching from a spread, air-it-out style of offense to a double-tight offense is about as contrasting as the colors black and white. But it's one that new head coach T.T. Cain is sure will work for his football team.
Cain, an assistant coach at Challis for the last four seasons, takes over from Josh Franks and says that while the adjustment will be sudden, it is more suited for his kids.
"The double tight offense will be our base offense this year, as our personnel strengths this season is more power than speed," he said. "Look for Zane Corrigan to play various position on offense."
Corrigan, a senior tight end/defensive end combo, could also see time on defense, as most 8-man players do. He'll be joined by fellow seniors Austin Cutler, Jack Penniger, and Marcos Ruelas as the senior leadership of the squad. With the departure of All-Conference QB Brandon Hamilton, the Vikings will lead on junior starter Tristan Stillwaugh to orchestrate the new-look offense.
The double tight offense involves a lot of running, meaning the offensive line play will be key in its success. A relatively young linemen crew will provide the protection, as juniors Hunter Cain and Mike Cotant look to anchor that line. They are joined by sophomores Wyatt Naillon and Danny Ziegler. Don't be surprised to see junior Jason Rembelski and sophomore Dustin Stillwaugh lining up right next to them.
From the fullback position, sophomores Pete Bradshaw and Justin Rembelski will look to make an impact, while sophomore Jake Plummer (no, not THAT Jake Plummer) will see time at halfback and defensive end.
Overall, Cain hopes his crew can accomplish two goals within their offense.
"Improve our running game overall and better control the clock... burning time," he said.
It's easy to understand why he wants to do that. The 8-man game is such a quick, speed-laden version of football. Last season, the Vikings gave up an average of 57.4 points per game, including one game of 50-plus points, two games of 60-plus points, and three games of 70-plus points. With the spread offenses that are starting to take over the football world, Cain's approach is to limit the amount of time that those offenses can be on the field by 'burning' the clock while Challis has the football. He's also hoping that his defense can get the job done to give the offense the ball back.
"We need to be a better tackling team overall," he said. "We hope to develop our core group at linebacker and stop the spread offenses and zone read."
Overall, Cain is very excited about the changes coming to his team this season.
"I'm excited to see how our offense operates, as well as how the defense responds with our gap control emphasis as well as Hawke tackling technique," he said. "If we can execute on both sides of the ball and stay healthy as we don't have much depth, we could be strong."
The defense will have to find their bearings rather quickly, as Challis' schedule is not an easy one. The Vikings open up with 1A-DII powerhouse Carey at home before welcoming the Raft River Trojans to Custer County. Raft River has knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs for three straight seasons - a trend Cain would love to break this year.
Following a bye week, Challis welcomes new-look conference foe Grace before taking their first road trip of the season to Arco to take on the Butte County Pirates.
"That game against Butte on Sept. 25 is the one circled on the calendar for us and our fans," Cain said. "Butte is the team to get by for the playoffs and seeding. We have not been able to get a 'W' against them as they are well coached and athletic."
As the month of October opens, Challis will take on Oakley at home, followed by a road trip to Grace on the 9th. The Vikings will get a second crack at Butte County, this time at home, on the 16th, followed by the final regular season game against defending state runner-up Valley.
Cain's emphasis on teamwork and togetherness will certainly help the program, which is looking to advance past the state quarterfinal round for the first time since dropping to 8-man football.
"Our theme is 'We Do: Push The Rock'. It speaks to all about working together to achieve one goal, which is Team Work," he said.
The Vikings will need to buy in quickly for the difficult road that is ahead. Anything less than their best in the ultimate team sport will leave them short of their goals.