High School Football

1A All-Idaho football team: The cream of the crop from the 8-man ranks

Raft River quarterback Kolten Hitt breaks through a tackle by an Oakley defender Nov. 18 during the 1A Division I state championship at Holt Arena in Pocatello.
Raft River quarterback Kolten Hitt breaks through a tackle by an Oakley defender Nov. 18 during the 1A Division I state championship at Holt Arena in Pocatello. (Twin Falls) Times-News

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

KOLTEN HITT, RAFT RIVER

Why he is Player of the Year: The senior made life a nightmare for opponents on both sides of the ball. As a quarterback, he threw for 2,941 yards and 38 TDs with four interceptions and ran for 792 yards and 13 TDs. And as a corner, he made 30 tackles and picked off seven passes en route to a perfect season.

Coach’s comment: “He was our team leader and was our kicker, punter, quarterback and defensive back,” Raft River coach Brian Poole said.

What others are saying: “Nobody found an answer for him all year,” Rockland coach Andrew Nelson said.

The Idaho Statesman unveils the 41st edition of the All-Idaho Football Players of the Year. Coaches in 5A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A vote on their classification's top player, and the Statesman compiles the votes and publishes the results. Photos courtesy

5A All-Idaho football team: The elite 49 high school football players in the state

4A All-Idaho football team: Only a select few can make the cut

3A All-Idaho football team honors top 49 players, best coach in its classification

2A All-Idaho football team celebrates the most dominant players at its level

 

COACH OF THE YEAR

BRIAN POOLE, RAFT RIVER

He led the Trojans (12-0) to the 1A Division I title.

 

FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB: Kody Arellano, Glenns Ferry

The big-play senior tallied 1,123 yards and 20 TDs passing with 1,225 yards and 18 TDs on the ground.

RB: Canyon Harper, Salmon River

The explosive sophomore ran for 1,836 yards and 24 TDs, adding another 523 yards and five TDs receiving.

RB: Garrett Astle, Dietrich

Despite double and triple teams, the senior had 1,566 all-purpose yards and 24 TDs to move up to first team.

RB: Bridger Cranney, Oakley

The senior racked up 2,031 yards of offense and 22 TDs despite injuries limiting him early in the year.

WR/TE: Kayden Hitt, Raft River

The twin of the 1A Player of the Year caught 77 passes for 1,469 yards and 19 TDs as the champs’ go-to guy.

WR/TE: Kendall Leighton, Lapwai

The 6-2 sophomore became a starter after an injury, finishing with 40 catches for 906 yards and 13 TDs.

WR/TE: Eric Silva, Lighthouse Christian

The four-year starter filled multiple positions due to injuries, turning 28 catches into 1,050 yards and 18 TDs.

OL: Braxton Poole, Raft River

The 5-11, 220-pound junior was the leader on a line that helped the Trojans average 54 points a game.

OL: Joe Fredrickson, Salmon River

Salmon River’s biggest lineman (5-11, 250) used his feet and strength to blow open holes.

OL: Jake Nyman, Oakley

The 6-5, 260-pound junior tallied 26 pancake blocks on a team that ran for an average of 415 yards per game.

OL: Jack Burton, Valley

The Vikings ran for 2,500 yards behind the 6-0, 205-pound senior, who didn’t give up a sack all season.

K: Rasmus Dinesen, Castleford

The senior from Denmark nailed a 51-yard field goal and sent 95 percent of his kickoffs for touchbacks.

 

DEFENSE

DL: Gabe Gonzalez, Salmon River

A one-man wrecking crew at nose tackle, the senior racked up 84 tackles and nine sacks for the state champs.

DL: Bryton Cooper, Oakley

The senior nose tackle lived on the other side of the line with 92 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

DL: Ivory Miles-Williams, Lapwai

The 6-4, 200-pound senior defensive end had 19 tackles for loss and seven INTs, returning three for TDs.

DL: Hayden Deeds, Kendrick

An imposing 6-6, 225 pounds, the junior defensive end controlled his edge and harassed QBs with 17 sacks.

LB: JT Mahon, Council

As a four-year starter, he diagnosed plays instantly to make 139 tackles and intercept six passes.

LB: Brady Turner, Glenns Ferry

The senior punched well above his size (5-6, 145), making 125 tackles and shutting down lanes in the middle.

LB: Canyon Harper, Salmon River

A first-team pick on both sides of the ball, the sophomore could stuff the run and keep up with receivers.

LB: Wacey Holtman, Raft River

The 6-1, 190-pound senior battled injuries all year but still produced with 80 tackles and five sacks.

DB: Tucker Boyd, Salmon River

The senior patrolled the secondary for the 1A Division II champs and led them in tackles with 104.

DB: Clayton Shepherd, Salmon River

Opponents knew not to throw deep on the senior, whose quick reactions and instincts led to three INTs.

DB: Lucas Wemhoff, Prairie

The senior corner racked up 49.5 tackles and broke up 39 passes headed his direction.

P: Joel Nunes, Oakley

The Hornets didn’t need him much. But when they did, he averaged 46 yards per punt, dropping five inside the 20.

Second team

OFFENSE

Player

Year

School

QB: Tucker Boyd

Sr.

Salmon River

RB: Lucas Wemhoff

Sr.

Prairie

RB: Wacey Holtman

Sr.

Raft River

RB: JT Mahon

Sr.

Council

WR/TE: Bryce Tvrdy

Sr.

Valley

WR/TE: Clayton Shepherd

Sr.

Salmon River

WR/TE: Cameron Barnes

Sr.

Troy

OL: Cole Allen

Jr.

Genesee

OL: Jamison Hopkins

Sr.

Lapwai

OL: Mitchell Sandquist

Jr.

Troy

OL: Bryton Cooper

Sr.

Oakley

K: Joel Nunes

Sr.

Oakley

DEFENSE

Player

Year

School

DL: Braxton Poole

Jr.

Raft River

DL: Johnny Shepherd

Sr.

Salmon River

DL: Cole Allen

Jr.

Genesee

DL: Jessie McAlevy

Sr.

Butte County

LB: Brandon Anderson

Sr.

Prairie

LB: Caulen Michael

Sr.

Wilder

LB: Brandon Patrick

Sr.

Notus

LB: Austin Bedke

So.

Oakley

DB: Erick Ballesteros

Sr.

Glenns Ferry

DB: Keith Kipp Jr.

Jr.

Lapwai

DB: Kayden Hitt

Sr.

Raft River

P: Erick Ballesteros

Sr.

Glenns Ferry

How the All-Idaho teams are chosen

The Idaho Statesman polls every high school football coach in the state, asking them to nominate players for their classification’s All-Idaho teams and as players of the year. Every coach is then sent a ballot for his classification. The Idaho Statesman compiles and publishes the results.

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