Photo By Patty Theurer - #30 Trayton Nelson
Written By: Sven Alskog
Idaho City jumped onto the scene in the 1AD1 classification in 2018 with an impressive 8-2 record and a share of the Western Idaho Conference crown.
The Wildcats hope to use the experience gained during that campaign to come out even better this season.
“I’m excited for this entire team to get after it this fall. We have a tough schedule and will get to see some of the state’s best 8-man football teams early on. We have a great group of kids that understand the value of hard work and have set the bar high,” said head coach Jason Roeber.
Some of those early season challenges include an opening week date at Raft River and a neutral site game at Middleton on September 7 against the Oakley Hornets.
There will be plenty of confidence for Idaho City heading into those matchups, with five First Team All-Conference recipients returning, including Conference Defensive Player of the Year Drew Pawek.
“We have some studs coming back for us on defense and are excited to see them mesh and play physical. Drew Pawek and Quinten Turner will lock down the defensive end positions for us with lots of experience. We have two returning corners that will cover the field in Juan McFarlane and Hunter Stunja. Our returning linebacker is junior Trayton Nelson, who will be fun to watch. He will he joined by his cousin Sawyer Nelson, who saw a lot of action last year and will be looking to mix it up,” added Roeber.
He also likes the group in place on the offensive side of things.
“We will be looking to explore the field a little more this year, but we will have two solid running backs returning in Juan McFarlane and Trayton Nelson. The thunder and lightning duo will be running behind a solid line with experience. We have some competition at quarterback and it will be exciting, as both Hunter Stunja and Thomas Luthy bring a unique skill set to the table. Quinten Turner also returns, giving either quarterback a solid target down field.”
On the offensive line, Sam Roeber looks to be one of the anchors up front once again.
In order for the Wildcats to take the next step, the offense hopes to get even more players involved in the action.
“We have been working on spreading the ball [out] more on offense. We feel we have multiple threats and need to spread the love,” said Roeber.
One of the things that has the coach most excited about the season is the mindset of the team and the dedication to hard work.
“Although a different team, the common thread of hard-working, good kids remains to be an expectation at Idaho City High School. Our entire team has seen a need for more work in order to accomplish our goals. That said, I have been impressed with our work in the offseason.”
The first opportunity for the Wildcats to see how they shape up on a statewide scale will be on August 30 in Malta against the always-tough Raft River Trojans.