Kuna High School
Conference: 4A Southern Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Sherman Blaser
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Assistant at Skyview
Head Coach at Madison
Head Coach at Melba
Record Last Year: 3-6
State Titles: 1991
Hayden Brandon, LB, 12
Matthew Austin, QB, 12
Brandon Hurst, OL, 12
Gavin Heindel, OL, 11
Tyler Brown, WR, 11
Ty Cobb, DB, 11
Joel Kellogg, LB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Hayden Brandon, 2nd Team 5A All-SIC LB
Key Players lost from last year:
Jerome Miller, WR
"Fantastic wide receiver. Caught over 70 passes last season and was also team captain. Playing at Rocky Mountain College now," Coach Blaser.
Caden Cobb, RB
"Set school rushing records in single season yards (1,750 yards) and touchdowns (21). Team captain and emotional leader. Currently serving LDS mission," Coach Blaser.
Photo By: Ronnie Soldano - #7 Hayden Brandon
Incoming impact players:
Keagan Vincent, DB, 12
Chase Burtenshaw, LB, 11
Brian McDaniel, RB, 12
Kaden Carson, WR, 12
Written By: Sven Alskog
Generating offense was not a problem for the Kuna Kavemen in 2017, with running back Caden Cobb rushing for 21 touchdowns and 1,750 yards and receiver Jerome Miller hauling in an SIC-best 71 receptions for 1,071 yards and nine touchdowns.
As Kuna enters the new season, the team will be tasked with finding a way to replace the immense offensive productivity that has graduated, while also improving on the defensive side of the ball after allowing the most points per game in the conference at almost 42 per contest last year.
With the graduation of quarterback Danny Rogers, Matthew Austin will take over behind center. He has a group of linemen up front led by Gavin Heindel and Brandon Hurst.
At the skill positions, Brian McDaniel is expected to get plenty of looks at running back, with Tyler Brown and Kaden Carson at receiver.
Entering the second year under a new head coach, Kuna hopes to continue to see offensive growth.
“Familiarity in the offensive system going into year two [is a strength]. Spread style offense that is explosive and physical. We would like to be more balanced and consistent in the passing game,” said head coach Sherman Blaser.
Expect the Kavemen to be able to generate some offensive firepower again this season. The key to how far the team can go will come down to what the defense is able to do.
“We have to have an increased focus and production on defense. Finished last season dead last statistically in the 5A SIC. That is not good enough! We have spent many hours as a staff rebuilding our defense. We want more turnovers. We have to be more physical and improve our play as a whole,” added Blaser.
With leading tackler Hayden Brandon back at linebacker and some speedy newcomers, the unit looks like it should be much improved.
“Strong group at linebacker. Hayden Brandon and Joel Kellogg return and Chase Burtenshaw joins them to make a fast and athletic group. [We are] making the switch to an odd front to try and be more athletic on the field,” said Blaser.
Ty Cobb and Keagan Vincent lead the defensive back group.
Kuna, Nampa and Columbia all dropped down to the 4A SIC this year, while Skyview moved up to 5A. The changes make for a wide-open 4A field that should be fun to follow in the new season.
Blaser likes the potential his team has.
“Kids are excited and want to win. Had a great camp and solid summer program. Team unity is
good. I feel that we have a better focus and understanding of our desires for the team.”
The Kavemen get the season started with a tough matchup right out of the chutes at Middleton.