Raft River High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
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Head Coach: Brian Poole
Years as Head Coach: 5th Season
Previous Experience: 22 Years
Record Last Year: 12-0, State Champion
State Titles: 1987, 1995, 2002, 2004, 2016
Braxton Poole, OL/DL, 12
Quintin Ward, RB/LB, 12
Christian Lloyd, OL/DL, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Braxton Poole, First Team All-State OL, Second Team All-State DL
Christian Lloyd, Second Team All-Conference OL
Key Players lost from last year:
Kolten Hitt, QB, State Player of the Year
Wacey Holtman, LB/TE, All-State LB two years in a row
Kayden Hitt, WR, had 140 receptions past two years
Incoming impact players:
Cutler Erickson, RB/DB, 11
Riley Spencer, WR/DB, 11
Written by: Sven Alskog
There was no doubt who the top team in 1AD1 football was last season. The Raft River Trojans dominated the rest of the field in route to becoming state champions.
After riding the coat tails of the outstanding one-two combination of quarterback Kolten Hitt and receiver Kayden Hitt, the Trojans will have to revamp the offense so to speak, with much more of an emphasis on keeping the ball on the ground being the most noticeable difference.
Fortunately for fifth year Head Coach Brian Poole the big heavies on the offensive line all return, giving Raft River as formidable of a front as anybody in the conference.
Braxton Poole was a First Team All-State selection last season, while Christian Lloyd took home Second Team All-Conference honors. Garrett Hutchinson rounds out the three up front.
Behind the line is where the changes begin, with Quintin Ward and Cutler Erickson expected to receive heavy workloads on the ground. If the Trojans can control the possession, the defense should be able to keep this team in games on a weekly basis.
“[We] return a solid offensive line of Braxton Poole, Christian Lloyd and Garrett Hutchinson,” said Poole. “We will have good speed in the backfield with Quintin Ward and Cutler Erickson and we will be much more run-oriented on offense than we have been the past two seasons.”
With the big talent loss from a year ago, the focus on details will be of the utmost of importance this season.
“We will need to be more disciplined and do better executing to be successful,” added Poole.
Similar to on offense, Raft River has a strong defensive line in place, with linebackers in Ward and Justin Schumann the run stuffers behind that front which will look to force the opposition into the air as much as possible.
It’s the back end of the defense where finding replacements will be crucial, as both of the Hitt’s made major impacts in the secondary.
“We will have to improve at defensive back. We are young and will have to gain experience,” said Poole.
One thing is for certain though for the reigning state champions, the journey will not be easy in a gauntlet of a conference.
“We have a deep and talented conference. Games against Grace, Glenns Ferry, Challis and Valley are all going to be important in making it to state, [but] the two games against Oakley will be must-see games,” said Poole.
The coach is excited about the new task at hand.
“[It is a] new challenge. We hope to reload and be completive year-in and year-out. We lost some of the best players in the state. New kids have a chance to step up and make a name for themselves.”
The first opportunity for the new-look Trojans will be a rematch of the state championship from last season, with Raft River hosting the Oakley Hornets.