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.
An already uphill climb continues to get steeper for Centennial, which has gone 1-17 in coach David Koch’s first two seasons.
The Patriots lost 5A Southern Idaho Conference Defensive Player of the Year Kenton Bartlett to graduation, and the majority of this year’s starting lineup will be filled with juniors and sophomores.
“We’re real young. That’s the big thing, if we can grow up quick. We think these are good, quality kids, and it could be good for us,” Koch said. “But it’s a big jump from freshman football to varsity football. We’ll just have to see how that goes for us.”
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Three starters are back on offense — running backs James Fisher and Victor Ngalamulume, and lineman John Dowdy. Fisher and Ngalamulume also join Chad Bowcutt (defensive line) and Stephan Brito (defensive back) as returning starters on defense.
Koch said improved participation in offseason workouts has helped the Patriots get ahead of where they were at this time last season, which may counter their inexperience.
“We’ve got a lot of young guys playing,” Centennial lineman John Little said. “But we all were waking up early, getting our weightlifting in, getting our technique right just so that we can compete in all our games this year.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
John Little, OL/DL
Saw limited time last season, but the 6-1, 250-pound junior displayed strong leadership in the offseason.
Chad Bowcutt, OL/DL
A top returner on defense, the 6-foot, 235-pound junior started at tackle. “Explosive,” coach David Koch said.
Victor Ngalamulume, RB/LB
The 5-11, 210-pound junior was in the rotation on both sides of the ball last season.
Daniel Carroll, WR/DE
He added bulk in the offseason that will help the 6-4, 200-pound junior provide speed and strength on the edge.
at Mountain View
at Timberline (DLP)*
* pod game
Last year: 1-8, 1-4 5A SIC Pod A
Playoffs: Did not qualify
Coach: David Koch, third season
Record at school: 1-17
Stadium: Patriot Field, Meridian