Head Coach: Jake Monahan
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: Teton Assistant (2004-09)
Shelley Assistant (2010-14)
Record Last Year: 8-2
State Titles: '03, '05, '07, '09, '12, '13
Wyatt Remington, RB/LB, 12
Brandon McBride, RB/DB, 12
Parker Hanson, WR/DB, 12
Jake Wray, QB, 12
Cashe Kantack, RB/DB, 12
Corey Killpack, OL/LB, 12
Malcolm Archibald, OL/DL, 12
Zeke Archibald, OL/DL, 12
Stedson Haycock, OL/DL, 12
Cole Carter, WR/DB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Wyatt Remington – 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Conference
Brandon McBride – 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Conference
Jake Wray – 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Conference, Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Corey Killpack – 1st Team All-Conference
Zeke Archibald – 1st Team All-Conference
Malcolm Archibald – 2nd Team All-Conference
Parker Hanson – 2nd Team All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
Braxton Balmforth, LB – A good leader and high motor ”glue” guy.
Mason Price, LB/WR – A rangy and athletic athlete, he demanded your attention.
Peyton Whitaker, LB/WR – A high motor and consistent player, he was a gamer.
Garret Murdoch, RB – A quick running back and big play threat out of the backfield.
Garret Killpack, OL – A good blocker on the edge who allowed Shelley to get outside.
Payton Nelson, DL – A tough at the point of attack and big part of the defense.
Photo By: Kelly Magee - #11 Jake Wray
Incoming impact players:
Payton Carlson, LB/RB, 12
Bryson Cummings, WR/LB, 12
Trevor Austin, OL/DL, 10
Jaxon Hess, OL/LB, 10
Written By: Matt Harris
The Shelley Russets are about to do something they haven’t done since the start of the decade: move classifications.
Shelley enters the new school year as members of a “new” conference, one which hasn’t seen its current format since the Russets dropped back down to 3A in 2012. The 4A High Country Conference will be a standalone conference for at least the next two seasons, after partnering with their 4A counterparts in District 5 for the last six seasons.
They’ll be joined by longtime 4A mainstay Blackfoot and four Idaho Falls area schools: Skyline, Bonneville, Hillcrest and Idaho Falls, all of whom possess a lot more depth than the Russets do.
“Everyone we play will have around 30 more players than us… we can’t afford multiple injuries at this level,” said fourth year head coach Jake Monahan. “The coaching staff and I will have to be smart in our game planning and find way to equalize the difference in numbers and create as much depth as possible within our program.”
Shelley enters 4A as the smallest school in the classification. But don’t let that fool you. The last time they were in 4A, the Russets went to the playoffs both years including a state semifinals appearance in 2010. While those appearances may have come when the current crop of Russets were in elementary and middle school, Shelley’s football program has conditioned the student-athletes to work for and expect success.
The Russets bring back a number of players who earned accolades in 2017, including starting quarterback Jake Wray, a 1st Team All-State selection last year. Monahan hopes to use the tools Wray possesses along with the team’s main strength to unlock the potential of the offense.
“We have very good team speed this season,” he said. “We want to get our athletes on the edge as much as possible. Guys like Jake, Brandon McBride, Wyatt Remington, Cashe Kantack, and Parker Hanson are all very good athletes who will allow us to play fast and on the edge.”
Monahan added that his team will look to be more run oriented this season using multiple back and formations. He said that players such as Corey Killpack and the duo of Zeke and Malcolm Archibald will play a big factor in the success of the run game.
Another factor in their success? Cutting down on the mental mistakes.
“We had too many of them last year,” Monahan said. “It kept points off the scoreboard.”
Defensively, the Russets anticipate being able to use their speed to their advantage once again. They want to be a very disciplined defense, but simple in their schemes. Tackling in space is certainly a point of emphasis.
“We want to play fast and aggressive in our 4-4 defense,” Monahan said. “Killpack is a thumper at linebacker and we will be bigger up front with guys like the Archibald’s and Stedson Haycock.”
With a new league comes a new schedule, which means new opportunities for growth and success. The Russets have set themselves up with a challenging non-conference slate to kick off their second stint in the 4A classification.
Shelley begins the 2018 season on the road in Preston on Aug. 24. They’ll then return home to face the 5A Rigby Trojans in Week 2. Conference play gets underway on Sept. 7 for the Russets when they’ll head to Idaho Falls to face the two-time defending 4A state champion Skyline Grizzlies. A non-conference home game against 5A Madison awaits Shelley in Week 4.
The Russets then head to Holt Arena for a non-conference tilt against Pocatello on Sept. 21. They will then host Bonneville at home on Sept. 28. Shelley will then take on Hillcrest and Idaho Falls in consecutive weeks, before finishing up at home against Bingham County rival Blackfoot on Oct. 19.
Monahan says that his team is embracing the challenge of what lies ahead this season.
“This year’s team is very close-knit. They aren’t super vocal, but they lead by example and have each other’s’ back,” he said. “We feel like there is a genuine love for the game amongst this group, which you love as a coach. They don’t need a ton of motivation and are very business-like. We are very excited to coach these guys.”