New Plymouth High School
Conference: 2A Western Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Dallan Rupp
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: 7 Years
Record Last Year: 6-4
State Titles: None
OL/DL Will Gergen (Sr)
OL/LB Dallin Beus (Sr)
OL/DT Dylan Hendry (Sr)
OL/DT Nick Woods (Jr)
RB/LB Teagan Gross (Sr)
WR/CB Garrett Powell (Sr)
DE Austin Robinson (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Hendry (All-State OL)
Gross, Powell, Beus, Robinson, Woods (All-Western Idaho Conference)
Key Players lost from last year:
QB Riley Harris
WR Cody Fernley
Photo By: Patty Theurer - #54 Dyland Hendry
Incoming impact players:
WR/DB LJ Travis (Sr)
RB/LB Seth Mowder (Jr)
WR/DB Travis Jackson (Soph)
RB/LB Coby Williams (Soph)
OL/DL Luke Eames (Soph)
Written by: Will Hoenike
New Plymouth head coach Dallan Rupp knows better than to single out one marquee matchup on his team’s 2017 football schedule.
“They all are ‘must-see’ games,” Rupp told IdahoSports.com. “We have to get through a tough conference.”
If you’ve been surfing the previews for the 2A Western Idaho Conference, you’ve likely noticed a theme – the conference is balanced, it is deep and it is very much up for grabs. Rupp’s Pilgrims look to be front and center in that discussion.
“We have four of our five offensive linemen returning and they all have two or three years of varsity starting experience,” Rupp said. “We also return our top two running backs.”
Curious who he’s referring to? First of all, it’s first-team All-State guard Dylan Hendry along with All-Conference linemen Dallin Beus, Nick Woods and Will Gergen up front. Sophomore Luke Eames has an opportunity to round out the offensive line at the tackle position. They pave the way for running backs Teagan Gross, a senior, and junior Seth Mowder. That duo ran for 1,390 yards last fall, each averaging over six yards per carry, and twenty rushing touchdowns.
With that much ground strength coming back, you almost forget that the team must replace the highly-productive pass-catch combo of quarterback Riley Harris and receiver Cody Fernley. So who steps in to play quarterback for the Pilgrims this fall? Austin Robinson (senior, more on him coming up), Andy Harmon (junior) and Kobe Roberts (sophomore) are all listed as quarterbacks on the 2016 roster, so we’ll have to sit back to see which … or perhaps someone entirely different … emerges when the team opens the season against 3A Homedale on August 25.
With no Fernley, whoever is taking snaps for New Plymouth will need to find a different go-to guy. Garrett Powell could be that guy after averaging nearly 16 yards per catch as a junior, including a pair of touchdowns.
Robinson made his mark on defense last season, leading the Pilgrims with 10.5 sacks from his defensive end position. With Hendry and Woods clogging the middle of the field from the defensive tackle spots, Robinson is free to wreak havoc from the edge and Beus – who had nearly 100 tackles as a junior - is free to chase down the ball from his middle linebacker position.
Battling for playing time alongside Beus at linebacker will be Mowder (29 tackles, five for loss last season) and sophomore Coby Williams. Williams got into three varsity games as a freshman and collected six total tackles in limited duty. That role should expand this season. The team also returns all-conference cornerback Garrett Powell, who tied for the team lead with three interceptions last fall, and will look to senior L.J. Travis and sophomore Travis Jackson to help fill the void left by Harris, Fernley, Jake Wilson and the other departed Pilgrim seniors.
New Plymouth has the opportunity to set the tone for the season by opening with three of four games on its home field in the west end of the Treasure Valley, including the WIC league opener against a solid Nampa Christian team on September 22. They’ll need a fast start because, as mentioned above, the WIC is deep this season and after starting with three of four at home, the Pilgrims will close with three of four on the road. The destinations for those tough WIC contests – at Marsing, at McCall-Donnelly and at Melba.
There are plenty of reasons for optimism for Pilgrim fans in 2017 – starting with all that experience returning on offense. The Pilgrims should be able to move the ball and score some points and, with the size and explosiveness up front on defense, could be tough to score on. In football, that’s as good of a combination as you can ask for.
However, the WIC won’t be a walk in the park. Nampa Christian, McCall and Cole Valley Christian each return key playmakers. Melba returns some talent and welcomes in a new head coach, as does Marsing.
New Plymouth may very well be the cream of the 2A Western Idaho crop this fall. When the season ends, if they’re the top seed out of the WIC, they will have definitely earned it.