Kendrick High School
Conference: 1AD2 District 1-2 White Star League
Classification: 1A D2
Share preview with friends!
Head Coach: Zane Hobart
Years as Head Coach: 5th Season
Record Last Year: 9-2
State Titles: 1991, 2000, 2001
QB/DE Jerry Gorbett (Sr)
OL/DL Hayden Deeds (Sr)
OL/LB Brian Lawrence (Sr)
OL/DL Dawson Bedard (Sr)
RB/LB Alex Brown (Sr)
RB/DB Cooper Hewett (Soph)
RB/LB Chris Burke (Soph)
Returning Players with Honors:
Gorbett (Conference Offensive Player of the Year)
Key Players lost from last year:
TE/DE Wyatt Hardin
OL/DL Peter Towne
OL/DL Hunter Jones
TE/DB Leighton Lunceford
RB/LB Blake Marker
RB/LB Mason Hewett
TE/DB Cody Taylor
Photo By: Steve Conner - #10 Jerry Gorbett
Incoming impact players:
TE/DB Brian Carter (Sr)
TE/DB Alex Sneve (Soph)
OL/DL Donald Morgan (Fr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
Back on November 19, 2016, the Kendrick Tigers went toe-to-toe with the Salmon River Savages for the 1A Division 2 state championship. A win would have been Kendrick’s first state title since 2002. But the ball didn’t bounce their way in the second half and the Savages took home top honors.
Not that there is any disgrace in finishing second in the state. Far from it. But it was a disappointing finish for Kendrick’s seven seniors to end an otherwise marvelous season.
But it’s not exactly back to the drawing board for fifth-year head coach Zane Hobart and his assistant, Tim Olson. The Tigers have some good players back in 2017, looking to defend the team’s White Star League championship and make another deep run in the 1A Division 2 state playoffs.
“Our strength will be our team speed,” Hobart told IdahoSports.com. “As many know how important it is in the 8-man game, we will be even faster than last year and will need to utilize that to make big plays.”
Triggering the Tiger offense will be senior quarterback Jerry Gorbett. As a junior, Gorbett threw for nearly 30 touchdowns and ran for nearly 600 yards en route to being named the league’s offensive player of the year. Kendrick lost talented running backs Blake Marker and Mason Hewitt, who combined for more than 1,000 yards and 20 scores on the ground, to graduation, so Gorbett will need to continue to improve and get some help from senior running back Alex Brown in the ground game along with sophomores Cooper Hewett and Chase Burke.
Kendrick does return a pair of offensive linemen with varsity experience, including all-conference performer Brian Lawrence. Hayden Deeds, who we’ll talk about a little more in a moment, returns up front as well along with Dawson Bedard. Freshman Donald Morgan is also an option up front for Hobart.
“We will need to be more efficient in the passing game and get the ball to our smaller athletes in space,” Hobart continued about his offense. He loses 6-foot-6 tight end Wyatt Hardin, who is pursing basketball at the college level, as an option along with Cody Taylor, so there is playing time available. Senior Brian Carter will have an opportunity to step in at tight end along with sophomore Alex Sneve to give Gorbett viable targets in the pass game.
Defensively, Kendrick set a high bar to reach last fall. At one point, the team pitched four consecutive shutouts and only allowed two teams to score more than 24 points in a game which, in the 8-man game, is pretty impressive over the course of 11 games.
Leading the way for the Tiger defense is Deeds, who earned first-team All-State honors at defensive end as a junior. He collected a whopping 17 sacks, controlling the edge of the line of scrimmage all season. Hobart likes his options, including Gorbett at the other end and Bedard should fill the role of defensive tackle. With Marker and Hewett (Mason) both graduated, the Tigers will need to have some players step up at the linebacker position with Lawrence and Brown expected to take on larger roles this season.
Candidates aplenty for the Kendrick secondary, with Hewett (Cooper), Burke, Carter and Sneve vying for playing time.
The White Star League figures to be tough again, with league runner-up Deary bringing back a solid team in 2017. Also looking to jump up a rung on the White Star ladder are Lakeside and Lewis County, among others, looking to knock Kendrick off the top of the standings.
The Tigers open the season with a difficult four-week stretch that includes two of the top 1A Division 1 teams in northern Idaho, Genesee and Troy, as well as two conference games against the aforementioned Lakeside and Lewis County.
But many eyes in the White Star League are already on the October 27 matchup in Kendrick against Deary. The winner of that game has won the White Star each of the past four seasons and it could again this season.
Hobart and his Tigers lost a lot off of last season’s state runner-up. But there is plenty of reason for optimism in Kendrick as a return to the 1A Division 2 state playoffs seems very, very possible.