Dietrich High School
Conference: Sawtooth Conference West Division
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Rick Astle
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 4 Years as Assistant
Record Last Year: 9-1
State Titles: 1966
Kade Shaw, WR/CB, 12
Lon Page, OL/DL, 12
Audie Zimmers, LB/RB, 11
Raygn Robertson, CB/RB, 10
Returning Players with Honors:
Kade Shaw, WR
Lon Page, OL/DL
Key Players lost from last year:
Garrett Astle, First Team All-State RB
Porter Robertson, First Team All-State LB
Jake Smith, First Team All-State QB
Written by: Sven Alskog
The one-two combination in the backfield of Jake Smith at quarterback and Garrett Astle at running back was almost impossible to stop last season for opponents of the Dietrich Blue Devils.
While both have exited due to graduation, Dietrich does at least have a "new" Astle so to speak, as Rick Astle takes over on the sidelines for Mike Torgerson.
Rick is no stranger to the program though, having been an assistant for four years. That familiarity with what works and what doesn't should help greatly as the new man in charge hopes to keep things headed in the right direction after a 9-1 record a year ago.
For those outside of the program one of the more obvious questions is pretty simple: Who replaces Astle at running back?
Based on stats, consistency and leadership it will obviously be a tough row to hoe, however, Dietrich does have a couple of solid options in Audie Zimmers and Raygn Robertson.
In order to maintain positioning atop the conference, the Blue Devils will need to establish the other parts of the offense though. It all starts on the offensive line.
"If we can get that down we will be strong," said Astle. "Our quarterback position will be young and we have two prospects right now."
Another key player to watch will be Kade Shaw, a senior receiver and cornerback who can create explosive plays if the Blue Devils find the right guy to get him the ball.
On the defensive side of things Dietrich is strong in the linebacker unit and has potential to be effective in the secondary and on the line as well, with the line having the most to prove.
"We were quite solid last year. [Lost] a lot of seniors. Just reload and attack," said Astle.
It's an exciting time for a coach to get the most out of players seeing increased varsity workloads.
"[We're] young. Potential is great. These boys could surprise some teams," added Astle.
For the first year coach, the x-factor is simple with this group.
"Having youth it is to believe that they can achieve. If they are willing to apply themselves there is great potential."
Dietrich gets the season started on August 25 at home against the Rockland Bulldogs.