Blackfoot High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Stan Buck
Years as Head Coach: 24th Season
Previous Experience: 30th Season overall
State Titles: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012
Pacen Hayes, QB, 12
Jager Leavitt, RB, 12
Konnor Robinson, RB, 12
Tayson Neff, DB, 12
Nyko Flores, WR, 12
Logan Lamb, OL, 12
Jake Stewart, OL, 12
Louis Oheda, OL, 12
Sagejun Smith, DL, 12
Zay Lewis, TE, 12
Nathan Colvin, LB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Logan Lamb, First Team All-Conference OL
Jager Leavitt, Second Team All-Conference RB
Nathan Colvin, Second Team All-Conference LB
Key Players lost from last year:
Taylor Pearson, WR
Zac Rodriguez, OL
Christian Day, DL
Photo By: Willy Harris - #7 Pacen Hayes
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
Some high school football teams might be satisfied with a near .500 record when they lose most of their offensive and defensive production from the previous year due to graduation.
Blackfoot is not one of those teams.
The Broncos have established a culture of toughness and success over many years and, for them, winning isn’t just a goal.
It’s also an expectation.
Blackfoot could never seem to get over the proverbial hump in 2015, a season which saw them fall to a 5-6 overall record including a state quarterfinal playoff-exit at the hands of Rigby. The Broncos opened up 1-4 before finding their footing and winning four of their last six games, including a 54-7 throttling of Pocatello which sealed another trip to the playoffs.
However, untimely turnovers plagued the Broncos down the stretch and their season came to a screeching halt unceremoniously on the turf at Holt Arena. The loss to Rigby in the state quarterfinals and the struggles of the season is certainly something that they have pondered over-and-over again throughout the offseason.
The Broncos are looking for a bounce-back campaign much like 2014, when they came up five points short of beating Bishop Kelly in the state championship game and running the table to a perfect record. And they may have the pieces in place to make a run once again.
Blackfoot head coach Stan Buck, now in his 24th season leading the Broncos, has several weapons at his disposal on offense. His offense will be quarterbacked once again by Pacen Hayes, now a senior entering his third full season as the starter under center (he took over as the starting quarterback mid-way through 2013, his freshman year). Hayes will be joined in the backfield by senior running backs Jager Leavitt and Konnor Robinson, with senior Nyko Flores on the outside at wide receiver. Senior Zay Lewis can be a big target for Hayes from his tight end position as well.
The offensive line returns three seniors, including Logan Lamb, Jake Stewart, and Louis Oheda. They will anchor the protection for Hayes, who should have more time in the pocket to operate this season with more returning line experience around him. The offense averaged 30.4 points per game last season.
Defensively, there are fewer returning starters overall but nonetheless those in place are talented. Senior Tayson Neff will lead the way in the secondary while senior Nathan Colvin brings good experience back to the linebacking core. Also look for senior Sagejun Smith to disrupt opposing offenses along the defensive line. The defense gave up an average of 27.6 points per game in 2015.
As for their 2016 schedule, the Broncos begin with a bang as they will open up with three straight home games, including Bingham County rival Snake River in Week 1, followed by home dates against Hillcrest and Century. Blackfoot then hits the road for three straight contests away from the comfy confines of Hartkopf Field as the Broncos will play at Madison in the annual ‘Buck Bowl’ on September 16th (Madison head coach Mitch Buck is Stan’s brother, hence the game’s nickname).
The Broncos then face Rigby and Idaho Falls, before returning home on October 6th to take on Skyline in what could be a potential conference championship showdown. Blackfoot ends the season at home against Preston on October 14th, followed by a trip to Holt Arena to face Pocatello on October 21st.
Blackfoot is set up to potentially be a dangerous team if they can get all of the pieces flowing together as one cohesive unit. If they can do that, we may be talking about the Broncos into late-November.