Head Coach: Tom DeWitz
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Record Last Year: 3-6
State Titles: None
Maliki Hoagland, G, 12
Trevor Birk, DL, 12
Connor Murphy, DL, 11
Brock Childers, WR/S, 12
Austin Forrest, Athlete/WR/S/QB, 12
Trevor Bourne, RB/LB, 12
Michael Sondermann, RB/LB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Michael Sondermann, Honorable Mention All-SIC RB
Photo By: Loren Orr - #34 Michael Sondermann
Incoming impact players:
"Connor Lewis moved out of state for a year but is now back with us. He is playing wide receiver on offense and he has excellent ball skills out there. He really goes and gets it. He is also looking good at safety on defense, using those same ball-hawking skills," Coach DeWitz.
Written By: Sven Alskog
It is never easy to start a program from scratch at a brand-new school. For Ridgevue and Tom DeWitz however, there have been multiple reasons for optimism in the first two years of football for the Warhawks.
After going from one win in 2016 to three in 2017, the challenge now is to again increase the win total with the most experienced group that has taken the field so far.
Leading the way for Ridgevue is senior running back and Honorable Mention All-SIC selection Michael Sondermann. Receiver Connor Lewis has also moved back to Idaho, so his talents on the outside should help add more of a passing threat this season for a team that loves to run the ball.
“I hope we can continue to improve overall offensively. Our run game should be solid with an emphasis on the power run game led by two senior running backs in Mike Sondermann and Trevor Bourne and an improving offensive line led by senior Maliki Hoagland,” said DeWitz.
Success for the unit will depend heavily on what the rest of the offense is able to do.
“On the outside, Connor Lewis and Brock Childers can be playmakers for us catching the ball. Austin Forrest is our best all-around athlete and we are counting on him to lead us offensively and make plays whether he is lined up at quarterback or receiver,” added DeWitz.
After struggling against quality defenses last season, the Warhawks know they need to improve in all facets offensively to keep them in games against the upper echelon teams in the 4A SIC.
“To be the team we want to be we need to improve everywhere statistically on offense,” said DeWitz.
Good speed is in place on the defensive side of the ball to make Ridgevue a team that could force some more turnovers this season.
When combined with a quality defensive front, the Warhawks have the potential to be much improved.
“We are a multiple-front defense based upon down and distance and opponent tendencies. Connor Murphy and Trevor Birk will anchor the defensive line. Seniors Brock Childers and Austin Forrest are physical players that are also ballhawks when the ball is in the air. One of our strengths defensively will be our team speed and athleticism. We have guys on defense that want to get to the ball and make plays,” said DeWitz.
It is an ongoing process to get to the level of on-field performance that Ridgevue eventually wants to arrive at, but with a good coaching staff in place and a still relatively youthful group, things are headed in the right direction.
“I am excited to see how the program has grown and developed. The senior class this year is not huge [12 players], but they have talent and have put in the time and effort to be successful,” added DeWitz.
The first chance for the Warhawks to take the field in 2018 comes on August 24 at home against Caldwell.