Head Coach: Armando Gonzalez
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Defensive Coordinator – San Juan Hills HS (So Cal) 2011-2016
Defensive Coordinator – Dana Hills HS (So Cal) 2005-2007
Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator – Dos Pueblos High School (So Cal) 2003-2004
Offensive Coordinator – LA Valley College (2002)
Wide Receivers Coach – Cal State Northridge (1997-2001)
Record Last Year: 8-3
State Titles: None
Nate Franz, OL/DL, 12
Tanoa Togiai, OL/DL, 11
Jaxon Graham, LB, 12
Brycen Uffens, TE, 11
Freddie Sheppard, DB, 12
Zhigy Falevai, DL, 11
Landon Cook, OL, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Nate Franz – All-Conference DL
Zhigy Falevai – All-Conference DL
Key Players lost from last year:
Braden Youngstrom, RB
Bradley Hahn, RB/DB
Tanner Clayton, QB
Austin Good, WR/DB
Ben Fullmer, WR
Robbie Larsen, WR
Trevor Orr, LB
Tane Togiai, DL/TE
Photo By: Chris Melgaard - #76 Landon Cook
Incoming impact players:
Keegan Thompson, QB, 11
Written By: Matt Harris
The Rigby Trojans football program continues to break new ground.
In 2017, the maroon-and-gold along with new head coach Armando Gonzalez posted an 8-3 record and nearly upset number-one ranked Mountain View in the 5A state quarterfinals. It was a great accomplishment for a Rigby program that was just in its second year of residing in the state’s largest classification.
Rigby hopes that the 2018 campaign will bring great success once again, but they will have to do it with a largely new cast of characters.
The Trojans return just one player on offense this season that saw significant field time in tight end Brycen Uffens. Everyone else that played major roles on that side of the ball graduated, meaning there will be plenty of fresh faces, new starters, and a quick learning curve. According to Gonzalez, the Trojans play on the offensive line this season will be key.
Keegan Thompson will take over at quarterback for the Trojans, who will be one of those new faces that needs to get up to speed quickly in order to maintain the pace the team set for themselves offensively last season. In 2017, Rigby averaged 36.6 points per game.
Defensively is where the Trojans will certainly be able to hold their own. Rigby could potentially boast the area’s best front line, with returning studs in Nate Franz, Tanoa Togiai, and Jaxon Graham. Zhigy Falevai and Freddie Sheppard are also back. Five total starters return to the defense, which gave up an average of 26.9 points per game last year.
Gonzalez said that after evaluating year one of his tenure in Rigby, he is looking very much forward to the continued development of the football program.
“What stood out to me was how coachable these kids are,” he said. “The effort they give on a daily basis tells me they are committed to making Rigby into an elite 5A program.”
They will need to be ready for a full throttle start for Week 1 of the 2018 season. The Trojans host the Coeur d’Alene Vikings, last year’s state runner-up, on Aug. 24. They then travel southward to Shelley for a non-conference matchup on Aug. 31 before coming home to face Bonneville on Sept. 7.
A string of big matchups await the Trojans in September, beginning on Sept. 14 when they travel to Washington to take on power program Eastside Catholic. Rigby will then face Hillcrest at home on Sept. 21 before traveling to Rexburg to take on archrival Madison on Sept. 28.
October opens with a contest in Idaho Falls against Skyline on Oct. 5. Rigby will host their senior night festivities against Thunder Ridge on Oct. 12, before closing out the regular season on the road in Pocatello against the defending 5A state champion Highland Rams on Oct. 19.
“Our players have prepared well and are ready for a tough schedule,” said Gonzalez.