Mountain View had its best season in program history last year, and the Mavericks hope the success carries over into 2015.
The Mavericks collected a series of firsts by winning a regular-season championship, hosting a state semifinal game and playing in the state championship.
Their 56-21 loss to Highland inspired the team’s offseason motto: “Next level.”
“What I am hoping is that our kids now believe that we can be considered one of the elite teams in the state year after year, not just a one-time flash in the pan,” coach Judd Benedick said. “... We made it to the championship and weren’t able to close the deal. How do we get to that next level?”
Ready to answer that question are six returning starters on offense and five on defense.
But like many teams in the 5A SIC this season, the Mavericks are breaking in a new starting quarterback after Garrett Collingham graduated and was invited to walk on at Boise State.
Benedick anticipates his team’s success will hinge on a fast start. The Mavs opened 2014 1-2.
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422;
Players to watch
TREYTON BELL, WR/RB
The Mavericks will do all they can to get the ball into the hands of the returning second-team All-Idaho receiver, including on kick and punt returns.
JARED GIBSON, OLB/TE
The 6-1, 190-pound senior earned first-team all-5A SIC honors last year on a stacked defense, and he’ll add some snaps on offense this season.
BRETT CARTER, OT
The 6-3, 270-pound senior enters his third year as a starter, and he’ll use his versatility to move from right tackle to left tackle.
CAMERON SKAGGS, DT
The 5-10, 240-pound junior started as a sophomore last season and led a stout Mavericks defense in tackles for loss (12).