Ririe High School
Conference: 2A Nuclear Conference
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Head Coach: Jim Newton
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Record Last Year: 4-5
State Titles: None
Jace Johnson, WR/LB, senior
Brytton Moon, RB/LB, senior
Rustin Rinderknecht, RB/LB, senior
Kostner Austin, WR/DB, senior
Teagan Criddle, WR/LB, senior
Brody Johnson, OL/DL, senior
Tate Kelly, RB/DB, senior
Ryker Parkinson, QB/LB, senior
Jaden Williams, OL/DL, senior
Garrett Bell, WR/DB/K, senior
Trey Yearsley, RB/LB, junior
Eric Orchard, OL/DL, junior
Garrett Jensen, OL/DL, junior
Returning Players with Honors:
Garrett Jensen – First Team All-Conference DL
Ryker Parkinson – Honorable Mention All-Conference QB
Key Players lost from last year:
Dylan Anglesey, TE
Reagan Thacker, LB
Bryhton Harris, OL/DL
Matthew Johnson, OL/DL
Incoming impact players:
Arik Zeller, RB/DB, junior
Stockton Johnson, WR/RB/DB, junior
Written by: Matt Harris
The Ririe Bulldogs are looking for more in 2017.
After going 1-7 in their first season under head coach Jim Newton, the Bulldogs improved to a 4-4 mark last year, qualifying them for a spot in the state play-in round. And the blue-and-yellow clad crew are hoping to make a bigger leap this season.
Many players with experience return to the field this season for Newton and his coaching staff. Offensively, the Bulldogs return senior quarterback Ryker Parkinson and a whole cast of skill position players for him to work with. Joining Parkinson in the backfield is senior running backs Brytton Moon, Rustin Rinderknecht, and Kelly Tate. Junior Trey Yearsley will also see time at the position along with fellow junior Arik Zeller.
In the receiving corps, the Bulldogs will look to seniors Jace Johnson, Kostner Austin, Teagan Criddle, and Garrett Bell to spread the field. Junior Stockton Johnson is expected to make an impact at wideout as well. On the line, several players with experience return, including seniors Brody Johnson and Jaden Williams, along with juniors Eric Orchard and Garrett Jensen.
“We require everyone to contribute to be successful,” said head coach Jim Newton. “We are a great team offense.”
The coach noted that his team’s focus on offense is to improve the passing game this season. With so many experienced players surrounding Parkinson at quarterback, they should be able to make great gains this season.
Defensively, many of the same names from the offensive side will play big roles on defense as well. Up front the protection will be anchored by Jensen, who was a First Team All-Conference selection as a sophomore. Joining him on the line will be Brody Johnson along with Williams and Orchard. The linebacking corps will have a lot of options with Jace Johnson, Moon, Rinderknecht, Criddle, Parkinson, and Yearsley back this year. The secondary features Austin, Kelly, Bell, Zeller, and Stockton Johnson, giving Ririe a good amount of talent and experience to work with.
“We need each player to be strong in their assignments,” said Newton. “We hope to improve in our durability and covering the passing game.”
While many players return for the Bulldogs, Newton said that focusing on the mental aspect of the game will be a key to their success this season.
“We need to have confidence in our program and what it means to play together,” he said.
The team will begin their journey this season at home on Aug. 26 when they open up against Star Valley, Wyoming. They’ll then hit the road for two consecutive weeks when they play at Malad on Sept. 1 and at Soda Springs on Sept. 8. Ririe then welcomes perennial 2A power Aberdeen to Clair Lovell Field on Sept. 15.
League play in the Nuclear Conference then begins on Sept. 22 when the Bulldogs host West Jefferson in a game that Newton said is a must-see. The game will be video streamed on IdahoSports.com. Ririe then makes the long jaunt to the northwest to take on the Salmon Savages on Sept. 29. They then finish the season on the road at Firth on Oct. 6 and at home against North Fremont on Oct. 13. The Bulldogs’ bye week is Oct. 20.
“Firth, West Jefferson, and North Fremont are always battling it out in our conference,” said Newton. “We have a generally strong conference and it usually comes down to the healthiest team at the end of the season.”
The coach noted how excited the players are to get going once again and to see how far they can progress.
“We’re excited to get back together with the kids and see how this year’s senior class will step up and leave a mark,” said Newton.
The seniors themselves picked the team motto for the 2017 season: “Brotherhood”.
“To them, it means they are going to go all out for each other and pick up their brother when they fall,” Newton said.
If they can embody that motto and continue to come together as a cohesive unit, the Bulldogs could find themselves back in the playoff picture come late October.