Head Coach: Cory Hollingsworth
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Record Last Year: 3-6
Wyatt Kearn, 12, FB/LB
Andrew Adkins, 11, RB/LB
Trenton Boyer, 12, QB/LB
Carson Underwood, 12, OL/DL
Luka Schneider, 12, OL/DL
Key Players lost from last year:
Garrett Burgemeister, RB/LB
Beau Beck, RB/CB – both strong leaders
Photo By: Debra Sorenson - #16 Taeson DeBrujin
Incoming impact players:
Jastin Inskeep, OL/DL
Paddy Harwood, QB/DB
Taeson DeBrujin, RB/DB
Written By: Will Hoenike
If people skip right to the end of the American Falls’ 2018 football schedule, they will see a pair of losses. A defeat at the hands of Marsh Valley in the regular-season finale and then a loss in the opening round of the 3A state playoffs in Gooding.
So, first and foremost, that means American Falls made the 3A state playoffs. And, if fans would look one week earlier on the schedule, they’d see a dramatic win at home against league rival Snake River to qualify for the postseason. That’s a good building block for head coach Cory Hollingsworth as the Beaver program looks to finish over .500 for the first time since the 2012 season.
“We want to be more physical and stronger than last year,” Hollingsworth said. “We want to control the clock.”
That starts with a strong ground game, which American Falls has the pieces to have. Starting linemen Carson Underwood and Luka Schneider both return and Jastin Inskeep looks primed to move into one of the open spots along the offensive front. They’ll lead the way for senior fullback Wyatt Kearn and junior running back Andrew Adkins. That duo combined for 152 yards and a score in the big win over Snake River last fall and, along with Taeson DeBrujin, they give Hollingsworth and his staff a solid nucleus to build the offense around.
Trenton Boyer and Paddy Harwood will work to earn playing time as the team’s quarterback. Either player would be supported by a strong offensive line and ground game, allowing the team to dictate the pace of play.
Defensively, the Beavers look to improve over a season where they allowed more than 50 points per game in the team’s six losses. Though the group fared much better in the wins, Hollingsworth and his staff will need better results this fall to keep games closer and allow the offense to power out some additional wins.
“We need to be more disciplined than last year,” Hollingsworth said. “We are focusing on technique and responsibilities.”
Kearn, Adkins, and Boyer will all vie for big roles at the linebacker position. Underwood, Schneider, and Inskeep should see time along the defensive line. Meanwhile, Harwood and DeBrujin will play in the defensive backfield.
“We are stronger and, after a year under our belt, know what we are doing more,” Hollingsworth noted. “We have worked hard in the weight room to become stronger and more athletic. I’m excited to see how it shows on the field.”
It’s a tough start to the season, schedule-wise, for the Beavers as they open up on the road against an Aberdeen team that qualified for the 2A state playoffs last fall. Then comes a strong Kimberly squad on the home field, which is followed by road trips to Filer and to defending 3A state champion Sugar-Salem. Hollingsworth’s team will be challenged right out of the gates.
American Falls only has three games this fall as two of the team’s three Southeast Idaho Conference games will be played away from home. After playing at Soda Springs and Snake River, the Beavers close the regular season at home against Marsh Valley in a game that could have major playoff implications.