Capital High starting quarterback Makena Simis has to smile when talking about his top three receivers.
Its reassuring to know no matter the situation, there are a pair of hands ready and reaching for the football.
Receivers Dylan Hale, Marcell King Jr. and Tarik Littlejohn have helped the Eagles get off to a 3-1 start, and the trio will need to come up big when Capital hosts unbeaten Rocky Mountain (4-0) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Dona Larsen Park.
So far, the three have combined for 57 catches for 809 yards and 11 touchdowns, but each has gone about it in a different way.
The lone senior of the group is considered the brainiac, and is most valued for his good hands and solid blocking.
Hale played sparingly last season while recovering from a torn meniscus in his left knee. Now fully recovered and wanting to make the most of his senior season, the 5-foot-11, 170-pounder has reeled in 19 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns an average of 11.3 yards per catch. His numbers rank 11th among all 5A Southern Idaho Conference receivers this season.
Dylans a combo of everything, Simis said. Hes fast. He can go get the ball and really, hes the one with the most experience. I think he knows the game really well.
Hales father, Steven, played receiver at Boise State and has been a huge role model since he began playing football at the age of seven.
My whole family has always been a huge support system, Hale said. My dad is always there to help with anything.
MARCELL KING JR.
The 5-11, 150-pound junior finished 10th in the triple jump at the USA Track & Field National Outdoor Junior Olympics over the summer.
Although this is his first year as a starter, King has emerged as Capitals fastest receiver. Simis often looks to King for long plays downfield.
Hes creative, hes shifty, and hes elusive, Capital coach Todd Simis said. Hes got good hands, too, but his biggest strength is his yards after the catch. He makes things happen.
King averages a team-leading 19.2 yards per catch. He has 13 receptions this season for 249 yards and three touchdowns, which is fifth best among 5A SIC receivers.
When King started playing flag football, he was placed on the offensive line. He said he was not that good at all. He eventually got thinner, faster and more athletic and has now played receiver since the fourth grade.
Its almost hard to imagine, but just last season, Littlejohn was a ninth-grader at River Glen Junior High.
But even as a freshman, the 6-2, 175-pounder stood out, landing a starting spot on Capitals varsity squad.
Now in his second season as a starter, Littlejohn is the Eagles leading receiver with 25 catches for 345 yards and five touchdowns, which ranks third in the 5A SIC.
The sophomore has already received letters of interest from LSU and Florida State.
He is our guy with the size. We can throw it up to him and we are going to expect him to get it, the younger Simis said.
All three receivers are good friends, which has made practices more fun and more competitive.
There are a lot of little things I think they can get better at, and if they do that, then its not one guy you have to worry about, its three, Todd Simis said.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX