High School Football Previews: Friday, Aug. 30

August 30, 2013 

LET THE GAMES BEGIN Bishop Kelly still has another week before its first game, but 29 District Three teams begin the 2013 football season Friday night. The Knights were picked to win the 4A Southern Idaho Conference in the Idaho Statesman’s preseason coaches’ poll and open at conference rival Skyview on Sept. 6.

Lake City at Rocky Mountain

Lake City has advanced to the state playoffs 16 years in a row, which should make the Timberwolves a good test for a Rocky Mountain team that was chosen as the 5A SIC preseason favorite in the Idaho Statesman’s coaches’ poll.

Vallivue at Nampa

These former 4A SIC rivals have not played each other since 2007, when Vallivue won 41-14 at Bulldog Bowl. Vallivue, now a 5A SIC school, hopes to lean on returning junior QB Layne LaFollette, while Nampa is starting over with new senior QB Brandon Forsberg.

Capital at Post Falls

Post Falls returns third-year starting QB Joey Pfennigs and No. 1 running back Seth McLeod from last season, but the Trojans have not made the playoffs since 2004. Capital, meanwhile, has qualified for the playoffs six years in a row and returns 30 lettermen.

Homedale at Caldwell

These teams met to start the 2012 season, with 4A Caldwell escaping 3A Homedale with a 32-26 victory. Caldwell returns seven offensive starters and is aiming for a breakout season in its third year under coach Zach McGee. Homedale could use a win to regain confidence after finishing 2-6 last season.

Canyon Ridge at Columbia

This is a familiar opener for both teams, as it marks the third year in a row they kick off the season against each other. Columbia won 35-0 in 2011 and 12-9 last season, but begins this season under new coach Brandon Harris, who took over at Columbia after spending eight seasons as head coach in Turlock, Calif. Canyon Ridge is in Twin Falls.

Middleton at Fruitland

Both teams advanced to the state title game in their respective classifications last season, and both lost. Fruitland, a 3A school, won last year’s meeting against 4A Middleton 30-15. This will be the debut game for Fruitland coach Ryan Tracy, who takes over for longtime coach Bruce Schlaich.

Emmett at Weiser

These teams have kicked off their seasons against each other every year since 2005. Emmett won last year’s meeting 25-22, but trails 4-3 in the series. Although this game is nonconference, it could be a preview of what is to come. Based on current enrollment figures, Emmett is likely to drop down to the 3A SRV beginning in 2014.

Mountain Home at Jerome

After two consecutive seasons without a win, Mountain Home is anxious to get back on track. Second-year coach Aaron Rodney has revamped his program and added 15 more varsity players than last season. Jerome has beaten Mountain Home the past two seasons, including a 40-6 win to start the 2012 season.

Parma at Marsing

Marsing has won this game the past two seasons, including a 15-7 road win last year. Both teams are expected to be strong again this season, with Marsing being named the preseason favorite in the Statesman’s coaches’ poll. Parma returns eight offensive starters, including its quarterback, three running backs and four O-linemen.

Payette at New Plymouth

New Plymouth begins the season with new coach Dallan Rupp and a combined three returning starters on both sides of the ball. Payette, which won last year’s meeting 27-13, has eight defensive starters back, but just three on offense.

Cole Valley at Oakley

Cole Valley may have the offensive edge with the return of experienced quarterback Mason Vanderhoff, widereceivers Tallen Eveland and Chase Renfrow and running back Jacob Booker. Oakley is a 2A school outside of Burley.

Orofino at McCall-Donnelly

This will be the sixth year in a row these teams have faced each other in a season opener. McCall-Donnelly took a 3-2 series edge with last season’s 26-22 road victory.

Wendell at Melba

Melba travelled to Wendell for its season opener last season, but had not faced the Trojans previously since 2005. Melba won last year’s low-scoring affair 6-0, but is poised to have a strong season with the return of eight starters on offense and seven on defense.

Nampa Christian at Glenns Ferry

These two teams have made it a tradition of playing each other to start the season, with Nampa Christian having won seven of the past nine openers, including a 34-8 win last season.

Rimrock at Garden Valley

Austin Meyers took over as head coach at 1A Division I Rimrock a few weeks ago, and now must face a 1A Division II Garden Valley team that went 9-2 last season. Garden Valley took down Rimrock 24-12 in Bruneau last year.

Carey at Notus

Notus advanced to last year’s 1A Division I state quarterfinals and welcomes a Carey squad that also went to the quarterfinals, but in 1A Division II. Notus begins its first season under coach Sam Crockett.

Idaho City at Horseshoe Bend

This was a close contest between two teams that struggled in the win column last year. Idaho City pulled out a 16-12 road win, but this year’s game might not be as close. The Wildcats were picked to win the league title in the Statesman’s preseason coaches’ poll.

Harper, Ore., at Wilder

Harper played two Idaho schools last season, losing to Greenleaf 26-8 and Notus 40-0. Wilder hopes for similar success against the Hornets one year after missing out on the playoffs by one game.

Council at Tri-Valley

These teams will play each other twice this season, making this game essentially a practice run (it will not count toward the conference standings). Tri-Valley is coming off a winless season, including a 58-12 loss to the Lumberjacks.

Salmon River at Kamiah

Defending 1A Division II state champion Salmon River only suffered two losses last season, and one of those was against Kamiah. The Kubs rocked the Savages 50-0, and went on to win the 1A Division I state championship.

Rachel Roberts, Idaho Statesman

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