Head Coach: Josh Wells
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: Idaho Falls High School
West Jefferson High School
Record Last Year: 2-7
State Titles: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2013
Jaxon Hess OL, LB, 11
Isiah Horlacher OL, DL, 12
Taylor Balmforth, RB, LB,12
Jeremy Burton RB, LB, 12
Kyle Deroache RB, DB, 12
Incoming impact players:
Transfer Jayce Talbot QB, LB, 12: Move from Missouri
Written by Dylan Carder, Sports Director KIFI/KIDK
There is a proud tradition of football success at Shelley High School. The six-time 3A state champs struggled to a 2-7 record last year after a move up to 4A. New head coach Josh Wells is looking to restore the 3A swagger and success to the 4A Russets.
According to Wells, the key to doing that offensively will be ball control. Shelley will look for great offensive line play and a strong running game to control the clock and keep their offense on the field and their opposing team's offense off of it.
To help do that, the Russets have a couple of offensive lineman of note returning for 2019. Junior Jaxon Hess and senior Isiah Horlacher will be called upon to anchor the offensive line. They will be in charge of opening up lanes for a stable senior running backs in Taylor Balmforth, Jeremy Burton, Kyle Deroache.
Running the offense will be transfer quarterback Jayce Talbot. The senior moved to Idaho from Missouri and will be tasked with running what Wells wants to be a balanced offense. He says they will need to run the ball very well and be aggressive to be successful on that side of the ball.
The strength of the Shelley defense will be the linebacking unit. Taylor Balmforth, Jeremy Burton, and Jaxon Hess all play that position when on defense. Wells says the Russets' “path to success is to tackle well and do the little things right.”
Shelley plans to run aggressive scheme that will be designed to put pressure on opposing offenses. Team tackling and swarming to the ball will be vital for the Russets.
Some players that Wells pointed to that he expects to step up this year are Treyce Jensen, Brayden Johnson, and Trevor Austin. Jensen has developed as a receiver and corner, being faster and stronger that he was last year. Johnson is the Swiss army knife of the Russets, playing multiple positions to fill whatever need the team has. Austin is stronger and more aggressive as he comes off a tough injury.
Overall, Wells says he has a lot of high character guys that put the team first and that the chemistry has really come together for this team. The Russets have a tall order in front of them with a very tough and competative High Country Conference, but Wells has brought an optimism that welcomes the challenge ahead of them. Shelley may not reach the heights it did in 3A this year, but they are setting the foundations for the future.