Head Coach: Cameron Andersen
Years as Head Coach: 9th Season
Previous Experience: 3 Years as Head Coach
2 Years as Assistant
Record Last Year: 10-2
State Titles: 1984 and 1985
QB – Shane Jennings – JR
RB – Cade Morris – SR
WR – Cayden Loveland – SR
WR/TE – Andrew Prince – JR
OL – Gavin Gaspar – SR
OL – Leland Curtsinger – SR
OL/TE – Jake McGinnis – SR
CB – Anthony Novis – SR
LB – Braden Roe – SR
LB – Jayden Mulins – SR
DT – Jake Mcginnis – SR
FS – Cayden Loveland – SR
DB – Brady Metcalf – SR (started 2017, missed last season due to injury)
DB/LB – Cade Morris - SR
Returning Players with Honors:
3A All State:
QB – Shane Jennings
WR – Cayden Loveland
DL – Jake McGinnis
DB – Anthony Novis
SCIC Offensive POY – QB Shane Jennings
RB – Cade Morris
WR – Cayden Loveland
OL – Gavin Gaspar
DL – Jake McGinnis
LB – Brayden Roe
LB – Cade Morris
DB – Anthony Novis
LB – Jayden Mullins
DB – Cayden Loveland
Key Players lost from last year:
Ruger Jennings – LB – Team leader and All-State LB going to ISU
Sam Funkhouser – LB – Superior athlete going to ISU
Andrew Carter – C – Dominating presence in the middle, going to Carroll
Mike Needham – RB – Steady, dependable and powerful runner in the middle
Kolton Adkinson – G – 3 year starter could play all 3 line positions, going to UM Western
Shawn Pamplona – WR – Long and athletic playmaker
Photo By: Kelly Magee - #1 Shane Jennings
Incoming impact players:
RB – Jonathan Carpenter – JR
C – Carter Norstebon – SO
T – Colton Page - SR
WR – TJ Russell – SR
WR – Adam Baker – SR
WR – Logan Anderson – SO
G – Anthony Huber – JR
LB – Dale Shaw – JR
LB – Jared Conrad – JR
DT – Anthony Huber – JR
DT – Keigon Theimann – JR
DT – Preston Theimann – SO
FS – Shane Jennings - JR
Written By: Sven Alskog
For those not familiar with how impressive Gooding has been in eight seasons under Cameron Andersen, look no further than what was a 2-6 team the year prior to him taking over in 2010 turning around the fortunes to go 61-25 since then, making the playoffs every year.
The 2018 Senators will be looking to replace the losses of four college-bound stars including linebackers Ruger Jennings and Sam Funkhouser (Idaho State), Andrew Carter (Carroll College) and Kolton Adkinson (Montana Western).
There shouldn’t be much concern regarding Gooding’s status as a 3A title threat though, with junior quarterback Shane Jennings, senior receiver Cayden Loveland and senior running back Cade Morris anchoring an explosive offensive attack.
“I am very excited for Cade Morris becoming the feature back in our offense. Cade can be placed anywhere on the field and gives our offense a dynamic edge this year. Last year he had 1,331 all-purpose yards and nine touchdowns in only 80 touches. You pair him with the threat of Cayden Loveland, who might be the best wide receiver in the state regardless of classification, running back Jonathon Carpenter, who has been shredding JV defenses for 2 years and [with] Shane Jennings spreading it around, I think Cade could have a big season,” said Andersen.
Big Jake McGinnis, a First Team All-State selection on the defensive line, moves inside to guard on the offensive front to join 6-foot-4-inch sophomore center Carter Norstebon and three year starters on the left side of the line in tackle Leland Curtsinger and guard Gavin Gaspar.
Going hand-in-hand with the physical punch that adding Norstebon should provide on the offensive line is a noted focus on the run game.
“We have to be better at running the ball when other teams know we are going to run the ball. This starts with me adapting the best system for the guys and putting the team in the best position to find success. We also need to get more guys quality game reps to build depth for the post-season. Again, health is paramount,” added Andersen.
When the ball travels through the air though, Jennings will have multiple solid weapons.
Loveland is the obvious standout after earning First Team All-State honors last season.
“We will have length on the edges with 6-foot-3-inch wide receivers Cayden Loveland and TJ Russell, and a big proven pass catcher at tight end in 6-foot-2-inch 220 pound junior Andrew Prince,” said Andersen.
The other side of the ball has seen some turnover due to graduation, with the previous group leaving a high bar to live up to.
In eight of 12 games last season, the Senators held opponents to 20 points or less.
With Jennings and Funkhouser headed to Idaho State, the linebacker core will have a different look this season. If there is any consolation to having to play the bulk of last year without Funkhouser, it is that Gooding was able to get multiple other faces plenty of increased leadership opportunities, including Brayden Roe and Jayden Mullins.
Add in McGinnis to that group and the middle of the defense has a nice core.
“If we can keep those dudes on the field they have had a lot of varsity reps, with all three being three year varsity starters on defense,” said Andersen.
Dale Shaw and Jared Conrad are a couple of additional guys ready to step into the linebacker rotation as well according to their coach.
“A lot will ride on the incoming juniors Dale Shaw and Jared Conrad replacing Ruger and Sam. They were able to see a lot of varsity reps last year in the playoffs and led the JV to a dominating conference championship two years in a row, but will obviously have a much bigger load this year.”
Anthony Novis and Brady Metcalf will man the corners, with the “Swiss Army knife” Morris ready to again be all over the field on defense. Loveland and Jennings will spend time at safety.
“We have to replace some pretty good players that were excellent against the run. We need to continue to improve with stopping great teams on big run downs. We need to continue to be ball hawks and jump the turnover differential,” said Andersen.
As usual, the Senators have a diverse schedule, with matchups against every Snake River Valley Conference team except Homedale and non-conference games with Snake River and Wendell on the slate.
The season starts for the Senators on August 24 at home against Parma.