Conference: Sawtooth Conference East Division
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Aaron Booth
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: Assistant coach and defensive coordinator at Watersprings in 2016.
Record Last Year: 0-6
State Titles: None
Kyson Poletti, RB/LB, senior
Hunter Rodgers, LB/C/RB
Returning Players with Honors:
Kyson Poletti – Second Team All-Conference LB
Key Players lost from last year:
Mark Mathison, QB
NOTE: On August 16th, the Watersprings Warriors and Clark County Bobcats applied to form a football co-op for the 2017 season. This preview will be updated with the information of players from Clark County that are joining the team once that information becomes available.
Written by: Matt Harris
When numbers are low, it can be tough to play with consistent energy over the course of a high school football game.
When numbers are low and most of your players are young, it can lead to low morale within a program.
That is not the case, however, at Watersprings School in Idaho Falls. The small, 1A Division-II Christian school may be young and their numbers may be few, but they are excited to begin the rebuild of their program following an 0-6 season in 2016.
Taking over the reigns of the program is Aaron Booth, who served as defensive coordinator and assistant coach of the team last year. He replaces John Yadon, the do-it-all principal, activities director, and coach of many sports at Watersprings. Booth will also assume Yadon’s duties as activities director. Yadon will stay on as an assistant coach on the football team.
Booth and his crew are ready to get rolling on the new season.
“We are really young, but our guys are excited to get playing time,” the first year head coach said. “Our young guys have been working really hard and want to prove themselves.”
Admittedly, Booth and the Warriors know that there are going to be some big bumps along the way. But they also know it’s natural during a rebuild with so many new, young faces.
“This will be a big rebuilding year for us,” Booth said. “We have a lot of underclassmen ready to play, but they will need time to develop.”
Watersprings will also be without the services of quarterback Mark Mathison, who graduated last year. Booth said that he was a big part of the team in 2016.
“Mark will be missed for a multitude of reasons,” he said. “He was one of our best athletes and competitors. He really carried us last year.”
The cupboard isn’t complete barren of returning starters however. Senior running back and linebacker Kyson Poletti will be a key leader on the team along with Hunter Rodgers, who will see time at running back, linebacker, and center. Those two will help the coaching staff to set the tone of the season ahead.
Booth said he can’t pinpoint any one particular factor that will sway the fortunes of the team one way or the other.
“I don’t think there is an X-factor for us, just hard work and execution,” he said.
The Warriors will play an eight-game schedule for the first time since 2013, when they were named Calvary Chapel and won the Sawtooth East Division. They will open their season on the road in Twin Falls on Aug. 25 when the face off against Lighthouse Christian. That will be followed by their first and only home game in the month of September when they take on division-foe Sho-Ban on the 1st.
Watersprings then travels south to face Grace on Sept. 8 in a non-league matchup. Following a bye week, the Warriors head north on I-15 to face Clark County on Sept. 22 followed by a matchup in the Lost River Valley against conference-favorite Butte County.
The blue and silver then head home for two straight contests as they host North Gem on Oct. 6 and Mackay on Oct. 13. They then finish the season on the road at Rockland on Oct. 20.
With seven teams in the conference and only four berths available to the play-in round, Watersprings will have to upset some teams along the way if they want a shot at getting into the postseason. However, should they not reach the playoffs they will still be laying the groundwork for success in future seasons.