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.
Capital hasn’t experienced a losing season since 2003, and only six teams have finished with losing records since the team’s inception in 1965.
The Eagles lost five games last season, tying for the second most in program history behind back-to-back six-loss seasons in 2002 and 2003. But a relative down year in 2015 that still included a state quarterfinal appearance should translate to a strong 2016.
Capital returns six starters on offense and nine who started at least part time on defense last season.
Coach Todd Simis has particularly high expectations for his skill players.
“We are going to lean on those guys. We are trying to do a little more (offensively) than we did last year,” Simis said. “I’m really proud of them, because they are hungry. They played a lot (last year), but more than anything it motivated them to do even better and do more this year.”
Senior quarterback Drew Korf ranked second during the 2015 regular season in passing yards (1,935) and first in passing touchdowns (21). He will benefit from the return of senior receivers Jessie Healy and Alex Lindsey, who combined for 464 yards and five TDs.
Basketball standouts Harrison Ashby (6-4) and Cam Godeny (6-5) will join the Eagles on the gridiron, giving Capital plenty of flexibility at TE/WR.
While Capital was among the most prolific passing teams in the league a year ago, second-year starter Micah Hagler (6-2, 225) provides balance at running back. Hagler accounted for 889 yards and 12 TDs last season, averaging just shy of 5 yards per carry.
“They want to honor the tradition. They get it, and they expect to win,” Simis said. “Last year, we had to fight like crazy to get in (the playoffs). We were young, and we had to win some big games in the middle and the end of the season, and they did.
“We talk about it all the time, but it’s kind of an unspoken thing, too. They expect to be in the state playoffs.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Drew Korf, QB
A second team, all-5A SIC pick in 2015 after completing 185-of-267 passes for 2,332 yards and 23 TDs with eight interceptions.
Alex Lindsey, WR/CB
Saw significant playing time on both sides of the ball last year, totaling 199 receiving yards and 3 TDs, plus 17 tackles and two interceptions.
Jessie Healy, WR
A two-way starter as a junior, the 6-foot-3, 175-pounder will focus on offense in 2016, where he is a top returner at WR (265 yards, 2 TDs)
Mason Wray, DE/OL
The 6-2, 235-pound four-year letterman likely will move from LB to DE to provide experience up front.
at Borah (DLP)
Rocky Mountain (DLP)
at Highland (Holt Arena)
at Timberline (DLP)
Mountain View (DLP)*
* pod game
Last year: 6-5, 3-2 5A SIC Pod A
Playoffs: Lost to Mtn. View 42-14 in quarterfinals
Coach: Todd Simis, 13th season
Record at school: 94-35
Stadium: Dona Larsen Park, Boise