Head Coach: Zac Farnam
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: 11 Years
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: None
Chase Burfeind, QB, 12
Zach Ramos, OL/DL, 12
Matias Pizano, WR/DB, 11
Ryan Barton, TE, 12
Ryder Hernandez, WR/DB, 12
Key Players lost from last year:
Travis Mitchell, OL, Anchored Cougars up front.
Tevin Sio, RB/DB, Most physical player
Tylee York, OL/DL, Most energy from last year
Alex Harrison, LB, Leading tackler
Photo By: Caldwell Cougar Football Facebook
Written By: Sven Alskog
There is a lot that goes into changing a culture.
For second year Caldwell football coach Zac Farnam, changing the mindset of the football program is something he is starting with the younger generation of future Cougars.
This past February the program hosted a signing day for all Syringa and Jefferson Middle School eighth grade football players to sign a letter of intent to become a Cougar. The new tradition brought out 47 new members to the football program, with each receiving a hat and becoming a “True Coug”.
While it may not instantly bring success on the field for the varsity version of the Caldwell Cougars, the hope is that the signing day each year will generate excitement for the next generation of athletes who will step on the field and hope to turn around the tides for a football program that has not seen a winning record in over a decade.
As far as the current edition of the Cougars goes, the team leaders are captains Chase Burfeind, Matias Pizano and Isaac Velasquez.
Burfeind will again man the patrols from the quarterback position. With a year of experience operating in the pistol offense, the second go-around in the new style of scheme should see more explosiveness and consistency overall.
“We have a year into a new offensive scheme, so knowledge is our strength. Kids understand what we are trying to do at this point. We also have great leadership at our quarterback position,” said Farnam.
He wants to see the offense avoid three and outs more often this season, while also developing a better knack for hitting on deep plays down the field.
Pizano and Ryder Hernandez are a couple of guys who will look to be quality deep threats for Burfeind, while Ryan Barton is the tight end.
It will be a new look defensively after Caldwell gave up 40 points or more on five separate occasions last season.
“Our defense will be transitioning this year to a new system, so tackling and turnovers have to be stressed until we settle in with the new scheme,” added Farnam.
Two areas for improvement are essential to improving on the defensive side of the ball.
“Fewer plays over the top and tackling.”
Year one under a new coach is typically reserved for making your mark on the program. Sometimes the success doesn’t come right out of the chutes, but rather in year two or three.
In a tough 4A SIC, the Cougars have their work cut out for them, however a quality group of kids sheds positive light on what Farnam hopes is an improved on the field product this season.
“I am excited to coach a group of young men who have grown together as a team. With a lot of change over the past year, I am excited to see how the older players transition last year’s knowledge and lessons into more successes this season.”
Caldwell begins conference play right away in week one in what should be a good matchup on the road against a third year Ridgevue program. Following that the Cougars have three consecutive home games against Columbia, Middleton and Vallivue.