Head Coach: Pete Molino
Years as Head Coach: 6th Season
Previous Experience: Assistant at Idaho Falls
Assistant at Idaho State University
Record Last Year: 6-5
State Titles: 1987, 1988, 1990, 1991
Darin Monk – OC, QB’s
Matt Houser – OL
Dustin Medellen – WR, DB’s, Special Teams
Mike Jensen – RB’s
Ike Johnson – DC, LB’s
Marty Duffin – DL
Cole Thompson – DB’s
Cameron Conrad, RB, 12
Cannon Thompson, QB, 12
Max Edmisten, OL, 12
Isaias Rameriz, OL, 12
Carson Fugleberg, TE/DE, 12
Kalvin Bowen, WR, 12
Chase Baker, WR, 12
Aaron Gravelle, RB/OLB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Cameron Conrad – 2nd Team All-State RB, All-Conference RB
Carson Fugleberg – All-Conference DL
Key Players lost from last year:
Todd Payne, RB/DE
Noah Hillam, TE/WR
Payton Powell, WR/LB
Mikey Miller, LB
Matt Olsen, DL
Gavin Shelley, WR
Photo By: Richard Friess - #18 Chase Baker
Incoming impact players:
“We have several junior players who are coming into the system at varsity for the first time. They have a real chance at making a big impact.” – Coach Molino
Written By: Matt Harris
The 2017 Idaho Falls Tigers football squad posted a 6-5 record, their best mark since the 2013 season. They qualified for the playoffs for a second straight year, won their first round playoff game against Lakeland, and reached the state quarterfinals.
Could this year bring the finish that the Tigers have envisioned in their long, arduous rebuild of their program?
Head coach Pete Molino, who has overseen the program since 2013, took the program through rough times when a wave of low participation numbers affected all sports at Idaho Falls High School. That wave has passed through and now the coaching staff is seeing the long-awaited benefits of their patience.
The Tigers will return 10 starters on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterback Cannon Thompson, who started since he was a sophomore. Cameron Conrad will be the main force at running back, while receivers Chase Baker and Kalvin Bowen give Idaho Falls a deep threat. Carson Fugleberg, who was selected to play in the Offense/Defense Bowl in Louisiana during the offseason, is back for his senior campaign at the tight end position.
“We run a pro-style offense, are run oriented, and have strong running backs, quarterbacks, and offensive line,” said Molino. “We want to improve our passing game and our pass protection consistency.”
Defensively, Idaho Falls returns five starters to a unit that gave up an average of 26.0 points per game. Fugleberg will line up at defensive end.
“Our defensive line is our strength. They are fast, quick, and strong,” said Molino. “We do want to increase our efficiency in stopping the edge plays.”
Overall as a team, Molino feels that the Tigers can have plenty of success this season, if they are able to control something that doesn’t require physical movements.
“The mental game. We have several very good athletes. Our kids must bond together as a team and play as a team, not as individuals. If they do this, we will have a great season,” he said.
The 2018 schedule will see the Tigers doing a little state-wide traveling. They begin the season on the road against Lewiston on Aug. 24, before returning home to face former conference-foe Century on Aug. 31. Century, along with Preston and Pocatello, left their combined conference with the 4A District 6 schools to form a super-conference alongside the 4A District 4 schools during the offseason.
September will feature a number of good games for the Tigers, with most of them being played in the greater Idaho Falls area. The Tigers face an important test on Sept. 7 when they open conference play against the Hillcrest Knights at Thunder Stadium, a team that Molino says will be interesting because of their returning experience and ‘new energy’ with a new coach. A contest against new 5A school Thunder Ridge takes place at Ravsten Stadium on Sept. 14.
And then, the big one.
Idaho Falls will face off against archrival Skyline in the 54th Emotion Bowl on Sept. 22 at Ravsten Stadium. The Tigers have not beaten Skyline since 2013 and have had to stare at Columbia blue goalposts for the last four years. They would love to end their losing streak in the series and to change the goalposts to a much more preferred shade of orange.
“I remember in my first year as head coach, I attempted to down play that game. I learned very quickly that you just can’t,” said Molino. “The kids get super excited, nervous, and jittery over that game. They have school events going on every day during that game week. They all are very aware of the tradition and how big that game really is. It’s a rivalry game that is ranked in the top 10 of all high school rivalry matches. Our kids, their fathers, and some of their grandfathers have played in that game. It means a lot to our kids.”
Following the Emotion Bowl, the Tigers square off against Blackfoot on Sept. 28 on the road. Another long road trip awaits Idaho Falls on Oct. 5 when they travel westward to Nampa to take on the Columbia Wildcats. The season then concludes with a pair of home game against Shelley on Oct. 12 and against Bonneville on Oct. 18.