Coach Bob Clark knows the Braves haven’t posted a winning season since 2008. But he doesn’t buy into that carrying over into this season. He points out Boise only missed the playoffs last season thanks to a three-point loss to Meridian and an eight-point loss to Vallivue.
So for Clark, the goal remains the same — get back to the playoffs.
“I think that’s everybody’s goal,” he said.
“Last year, we had some good victories and we battled in most of our games. We had a couple games that were bad for us. But when it was all said and done, we were maybe 11 points from moving on.”
Boise will again try to shore up its defense, which surrendered 35.3 points per game, its sixth straight year over 30 points. But the Braves return seven defensive starters, including three linebackers in Jacob Sprague, Ian Sullivan and Josu Bieter-Lete.
That experienced defense pairs with an offense sporting eight returning starters and anchored by lineman Valentino Daltoso, a three-year starter.
“It gives you confidence,” Clark said of all the experience. “It gives the kids confidence.”
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PLAYERS TO WATCH
VALENTINO DALTOSO, OL
The 6-4, 280-pound senior has showcased his size, athleticism and versatility to grab a full-ride offer from Montana. More may be on the way.
TREY JONES, RB/CB
Entering his third year on varsity, Jones has spent most of his time in coverage. But he’ll add some snaps at tailback and slot receiver this year.
JACOB SPRAGUE, LB
The 6-1, 215-pound senior moved from Michigan a year ago. Since then, he’s become a leader in the program.
JOSU BIETER-LETE, RB/LB
The senior will rotate in at running back, and he’ll start at outside linebacker, where he excels with a nose for the ball and athleticism in space.