Head Coach: Eric Thorson
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 4 Years as Head Coach at Richfield (UT)
6 Years as Assistant at Sky View (UT)
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: 1993
Walter Iverson, RB/LB, 12
Ty Hyde, OL/DL, 11
Hudson Nelson, OL/DL, 11
Riley Parker, OL/LB, 12
Key Players lost from last year:
Brayden Parker, OL/DL
Britten Atkinson, QB
“Britten was a three-year starting quarterback which leaves big shoes to fill and Brayden was an All-State defensive end and great pass rusher.” – Coach Thorson
Photo By: Kyle Riley - #30 Andrew Iverson
Written By: Matt Harris
The 2017 season for the Preston Indians had potential to help end their six-year playoff drought. However, close calls and miscues in games left Preston a little bit short as the finished with a 1-8 record and out of the postseason picture.
In 2018, Preston will turn to a new face for leadership as Eric Thorson steps in to lead the rebuilding of the program. Thorson, who served as the head coach at Richfield High in Utah for the last four seasons, will look to improve the fortunes of the football program which has plenty of talent but has been unable to translate it into more wins. Preston has just 12 wins as a program since the 2011 season.
“We need to light the pilot light of confidence,” said Thorson. “Preston has athletic players, we just need to establish a base of confidence in having success. We are looking early in the season to find some spark to ignite the confidence.”
The coach added that there were several young players, including sophomores, that received some varsity experience last season and they hope that their previous experience will pay off heading into the new campaign.
Thorson, who was also the offensive coordinator at Richfield, used the spread offense while in Utah but says his new team in Preston will look to tailor the offense to the strengths of his players.
“We have a strong offensive line and decent size which will lend well for a run game of several talented running backs,” he said, adding they need to find their leader at quarterback. The Indians averaged 18.9 points per game in 2017.
Defensively, Thorson said that the line has decent size and depth and that they hope to be able to continue their development of their secondary.
“Our players are hungry to play and win. They have adapted very well to everything I’ve asked them to do. They’ve had great commitment that I believe will pay off in October and November,” said Thorson, who said that he and his staff are looking forward to the depth of the senior and junior classes combined. “The senior class is a bit smaller, but they have welcomed the junior and the two classes are working together as one to compete.”
The new season brings a new challenge to the program as well – a brand new super-conference. Preston, along with Century and Pocatello, joined forces with District 4 to create a 10-team conference this year. Preston will play in the East Pod along with Century, Pocatello, Minico, and Burley.
“We’re excited to play everyone,” said Thorson. “We look forward to playing a few teams we haven’t played for a few years.”
Play begins on Aug. 24 when the Indians host the Shelley Russets. Preston will then travel to Jerome to play a cross-pod matchup against the Tigers on Aug. 31.
September begins with another cross-pod matchup when the Indians host Canyon Ridge on Sept. 7. Pod-play will open on Sept. 14 with Preston travelling to Pocatello to face Century at Holt Arena. A non-conference game awaits the Indians in Week 5 when they travel to Idaho Falls to face Bonneville, before returning home for a matchup against Minico on Sept. 28.
Preston will complete pod-play during the first two weeks of October with a date at Burley on Oct. 5 and a home contest against Pocatello on Oct. 12. They then round out their regular season schedule with a home contest against Snake River on Oct. 19.