Kuna High School
Conference: 5A Southern Idaho Conference - West Division Pod B
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Head Coach: Ian Smart
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: Two years at Bishop Kelley and two years as an assistant at Kuna.
Record Last Year: 7-4
State Titles: 1991
Chase Spangler, Offensive and defensive line, Senior
Cody Trautman, Defensive back/Wide receiver, Senior
Returning Players with Honors:
Dustin Taylor, 1st Team All-Conference
Cody Trautman, 2nd Team All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
Kyler Ray, Defensive end/Tight end. “He did everything for us. First Team All-Idaho DE is hard to replace.”
Jake Johnson, Wide receiver. “He was a mismatch on the field. A 6’6" receiver who caught everything thrown to him.”
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #5 Cody Trautman
Incoming impact players:
Nathan Erickson, Defensive end/Tight end, Junior
Written by: Lucas Gebhart
The Kavemen went a respectable 7-4 last season, good enough to earn a spot in the playoffs. One big thing has changed for the school, as Kuna transitions to the 5A classification for the new school year.
The Kavemen will be thrown into one of Idaho’s toughest conferences, the Southern Idaho Conference West Pod A Division (SIC), which includes defending state champions Rocky Mountain.
Head coach, Ian Smart, is ready for the challenge.
However, the Kavemen will have to do battle without a couple of key pieces from last season. Defensive end and tight end Kyler Ray and wide receiver Jake Johnson were both key pieces to Kuna’s offense last season.
Missing a six-and-a-half-foot receiver is one thing, but when combined with losing an All-State defensive end it creates a couple of gaps on the Kuna roster, something Smart will hope to solidify early in the season.
Despite these losses, Kuna will return two All-Conference selections. Dustin Taylor was First Team All-Conference, while Cody Trautman was Second Team All-Conference.
Smart plans to utilize his offensive line to establish a respectable run game that will open up the passing game. Behind running back Brent Cox, Kuna will rely on the offensive line led by Chase Spangler and Dustin Taylor.
“Our hope is to establish an identity,” Smart said. “Last year we did some really good things, but never truly developed our identity. In order to be successful, we will have to create that and stick with it.”
Part of that identity will be a solid defense whose primary focus will be on takeaways and aggressive play.
Led by Trautman at corner, Kuna will go with Josh Rumsey at the free safety position, with Kyle Johnson and Jackson Owen looking to shut down the run at linebacker.
“We gave up far too many home runs last season,” Smart said. “We will make sure we know and execute our assignments.”
Establishing and slowing the running game will be the X-factor for the Kavemen. That is what Smart refers to as, “the family business.”
Kuna will start the season with familiar foes as they open against Bishop Kelley and Middleton, both 4A schools.
Afterwards they will be put to the test as they will play the brutal schedule that is the SIC.
Kuna will learn that they cannot take a week off in the SIC, as every single team, including the Kavemen, can play ball.