Conference: 1AD2 Long Pin Conference
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Bob Johnson
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Previous Experience: Cambridge, Melba and Weiser
Record Last Year: 10-1
State Titles: 1975 and 1981
Jayden Mink, QB/DB, 12
Cody Nixon, C/DB, 12
Orion Southwick, LB/TE, 12
Michael Carpenter, WR/DE, 12
Reed Thulander, WR/DB, 12
Jason Damon, OL/DL, 12
Larry Bodnar, RB/DE, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Jayden Mink, All-Conference QB
Cody Nixon, All-Conference C/DB
Orion Southwick, All-Conference LB/TE
Key Players lost from last year:
Collin Kindall, Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year, All-Conference FB/DE/K
Chip Mitchell, Conference MVP WR/DB
Teddy Ertel, All-Conference RB/DB
Parker Cornwell, All-Conference TE/DE/P
Jay Langer, All-Conference OL/LB
DJ Jordan, All-Conference DL
Logan Reyna, All-Conference Utility/LB
Brock Johnson, All-Conference OL
Isaac Besel, All-Conference OL/DL
Photo By: Willy Harris - #8 Jayden Mink
Incoming impact players:
Mason Rasmussen, OL/DL
Ty Barnett, WR/DB
Written By: Sven Alskog
A muddy field was just about the only thing that slowed down the Tri-Valley Titans offense last season, as the unit put up over 40 points in every game aside from a 20-0 semifinal victory over Butte County.
The Cambridge and Midvale co-op would finish the season 10-1 overall and as state runner-up to Carey.
Nine All-Conference selections graduated from that outstanding team, leaving increased leadership opportunities for those who do return, including quarterback/defensive back Jayden Mink and tight end/linebacker Orion Southwick. That duo is joined by center/defensive back Cody Nixon as the returners who earned Long Pin accolades from last year.
For a program that relied heavily on physicality to overwhelm opponents in 2017, the key will be to rebuild that identity quickly with players who move up from JV, in addition to the talent that does return in a larger role.
"We will not be as big as we were last year, but we will have adequate speed and a strong work ethic. Orion Southwick and Jayden Mink bring experience and leadership as key players coming back from the 2017 Titan Team," said Johnson.
Defense was a big strength for the Titans and head coach Bob Johnson last season. Six opponents that went up against Tri-Valley were held to single digit point totals, something that is unheard of in the 1A classification. If the new group of players can come even close to that it will give the team a chance to make a run towards a playoff spot.
"Orion Southwick and Cody Nixon are talented linebackers. Larry Bodnar and Michael Carpenter are very quick defensive ends. We will run a 3-4-1 and a 3-3-2 defense," added Johnson.
It will not be an easy journey in a stacked Long Pin Conference, which adds Horseshoe Bend from the 1AD1 ranks. Salmon River and Garden Valley are each expected to be strong again as well, making for a fun path to follow to see who emerges out of the pack.
Tri-Valley will begin its season on the road against Rimrock on August 31, with the first conference game slated for September 28 at Garden Valley. The schedule for the first few weeks of the season should allow the Titans to acclimate some new faces prior to embarking on the brunt of the conference schedule later in September and through October.