The Idaho Statesman is previewing high school football teams and conferences in the Treasure Valley area for 18 days leading up to the season, which starts Aug. 26. Follow IdahoStatesman.com for a list of all the previews.
Entering the program as its fourth coach in the past calendar year, Jim Clark started last season in a no-win situation.
Mountain Home struggled, going 0-9 to stretch its losing streak to 16 games and its record the past five years to 2-43. But with a full offseason under his belt, Clark said the Tigers are miles ahead of where they were last year.
“Last year, we never even got into football,” Clark said. “We were too busy worried about attitudes, improving attitudes, improving motivation, getting kids to do something, to have some pride in what they’re doing. Now we’re getting a little bit more into the football side of things. We’ve actually got our schemes a little more developed.”
The Tigers’ triple-option attack returns, led by second-year starting quarterback Michael Campbell and five other returning starters. Clark said the offensive line is much improved, and the return of running back Chris Wright from a knee injury provides a big-time playmaker.
A more potent offense should help protect a defense put in unwinnable positions last year. Put them together, and the Tigers should see the proof of all that Clark has preached the past year.
“We’re getting them to see they can win, they can compete in this league,” Clark said.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Chris Wright, RB/DB
A weapon on both sides of the ball, the senior returns after an ACL tear sidelined him three games into 2015.
Michael Campbell, QB
An offseason learning the offense has the Tigers excited for what he can do in his second year as a starter.
Caleb Huntley, OL/DL
The 5-10, 200-pound senior transitions from fullback to the offensive line, bringing toughness and brains to the front.
Jonathan Kiser, OL/DL
The 6-3, 290-pound senior can play multiple positions on the offensive line and will see some snaps on defense this year too.
* conference game
Last year: 0-9, 0-5 4A SIC
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Coach: Jim Clark, second season
Record at school: 0-9
Stadium: Tiger Field