Middleton High School
Conference: 4A Southern Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Bill Brock
Years as Head Coach: 17th Season
Previous Experience: 1982-84 Assistant coach Boise High School, 1986 Assistant coach Glenns Ferry High School. 1987-1999 Head coach Glenns Ferry High School. 2000- present head coach Middleton High School
Record Last Year: 5-6
State Titles: None
Harland Ah You
Reece Robinett, Tight end, Senior
Darin Post, Tight end, Junior
Josh Mertz, Offensive line, Junior
Henry Tentinger, Offensive line, Senior
Jonah Sheffield, Offensive line, Senior
Jarvis Orr, Offensive line, Senior
Chase Downs, Wing back, Senior
Garrett Gasaway, Quarterback, Senior
Jaden Coombs, Running back, Senior
Mitch Beitia, Defensive back, Junior
Conner Zufelt, Defensive back, Senior
Chase Downs, Outside linebacker, Senior
DJ Hagler, Outside linebacker, Senior
Chase Conrad, Linebacker, Senior
Jaden Coombs, Linebacker, Senior
Caleb Tennant, Defensive line, Senior
Gabe Lomas, Defensive line, Senior
Returning Players with Honors:
Chase Downs, Tight end, Senior, 2nd Team All-State
Jaden Coombs, Linebacker, Senior, All-Conference
DJ Haggler, Outside linebacker, Senior, Honorable Mention All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
Caleb Harrel, All-State player last season
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #20 Jaden Coombs
Written by: Lucas Gebhart / Will Hoenike
Bill Brock has been coaching at Middleton for a long time.
Seventeen years, in fact. Very few coaches across the state of Idaho have been at their post longer.
If you’re looking for a big building block for Brock and his Vikings, try this: He has one returning starter for each of those seasons. Seventeen returning starters are back for Middleton in 2016.
That alone should make the rest of the 4A Southern Idaho Conference take note.
The Vikings have been at their best when they’ve been able to control the line of scrimmage and pound opposing defenses with its precise ground attack. With a returning quarterback (Garrett Gasaway), two returning running backs (Jaden Coombs and Chase Downs) and four … count ‘em … returning offensive linemen (Henry Tentinger, Jonah Sheffield, Jarvis Orr and Josh Mertz), there’s ample reason to hope Middleton can do just that.
Oh, and the team also returns a pair of tight ends, Reece Robinett and Darin Post, to serve as additional blockers or downfield targets when Brock’s offense chooses to put the ball in the air.
“We have a lot of experience coming back from last year’s team,” Brock told the Preview. “We are excited and expect to have another successful season.”
On defense, the Vikings return all four linebackers from their base, 3-4 defense. Coombs, a first-team All-SIC selection last season, and DJ Haggler (honorable mention) lead the linebacking corps along with Downs and Chase Conrad. They spearhead a unit that shut out two opponents last season and held two other teams to seven points or less.
Seniors Caleb Tennant and Gabe Lomas return along the defensive front for the Vikings, while Mitch Beitia and Conner Zufelt return to their respective posts in the Middleton secondary.
The 4A SIC has the distinction of being the only conference in Idaho to feature a pair of defending state football champions. Bishop Kelly conquered the 4A bracket last fall and Emmett, who won the state’s 3A classification, bumps back up to the 4A division in 2016. Along with traditional toughie Skyview and old rivals Caldwell, Vallivue and Mountain Home, the SIC league schedule poses a threat to even the deepest, most-experienced teams.
Middleton gets Bishop Kelly at home this season (Sept. 30) but closes the regular season with two of three on the road, traveling to Skyview (Oct. 7) and Vallivue (Oct. 21). While neither poses a great challenge in terms of driving distance, both games figure to have major ramifications on 4A SIC playoff positioning.
The Vikings have qualified for post-season play in six of the past seven seasons. With an experienced staff surrounding Brock and a veteran football team, Middleton has a great opportunity to play November football again in 2016.