High School Football

Columbia football looking to end losing streak with experienced group

Columbia football's Davis on the team's 24-game losing streak

The Columbia High football program hasn't won a game since 2013, when it was a 4A program. Wildcats coach Rich Davis describes how the team is handling the weight of the losing streak.
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The Columbia High football program hasn't won a game since 2013, when it was a 4A program. Wildcats coach Rich Davis describes how the team is handling the weight of the losing streak.

Columbia has struggled since joining the 5A classification. It hasn’t won a game since making the move in 2014, and its losing streak stands at 24 games, dating back to its days as a 4A program.

But second-year coach Rich Davis sees plenty of reason for optimism.

A year after fielding eight seniors, the Wildcats have 18. A year after starting seven sophomores on both sides of the ball at one point, the program is filled with juniors and seniors. And a year after 53 players showed up for the first day of practice, 79 are in pads, enough to field a varsity, JV and freshman team for the first time since 2013.

Davis knows the program stumbled last year but said it has emerged from the other side better for it.

“They went through some physical pain, some growing pains, whatever you want to call it, for that year,” Davis said. “But they are noticeably more talented, more aggressive, more mentally prepared to play at this level right now than they would have been if they played as a JV team last year.”

The offense returns seven starters, including junior quarterback Gino Camario. But he’s battling with senior Garrett Turner again for the top spot. Add in a defense featuring more speed and five returning starters, and Columbia is eyeing the end of its losing streak.

“If we can get the ball rolling a little bit,” Davis said, “then we’ll start on the next goal.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brandon Kipper, OL/DL

The reigning 5A state heavyweight champion wrestler stands 6-6, 260 pounds and returns as a four-year starter.

Mitch Flint, WR/FS

The senior will see a lot of balls thrown his way this year, and he has the quickness to do damage after the catch.

Garrett Turner, QB/CB

Even if he doesn’t win the starting QB battle, he has the versatility to still start on both sides of the ball.

Michael Davis, H-back/DE

Columbia will move the 6-4, 200-pound junior around the field to exploit leverage and find mismatches.

SCHEDULE

Date

Opponent

Time

Aug. 26

at Canyon Ridge

7 p.m.

Sept. 2

Mountain Home

7 p.m.

Sept. 9

Borah

7 p.m.

Sept. 16

at Centennial

7 p.m.

Sept. 23

at Capital (DLP)*

7 p.m.

Sept. 30

Mountain View*

7 p.m.

Sept. 7

Nampa*

7 p.m.

Oct. 13

at Boise (DLP)*

7 p.m.

Oct. 21

Meridian*

7 p.m.

* pod game

Last year: 0-9, 0-5 5A SIC Pod B

Playoffs: Did not qualify

Coach: Rich Davis, second season

Record at school: 0-9

Stadium: Wildcat Stadium

TEAM PREVIEWS ALREADY FEATURED

Mountain View loaded, ready for another playoff run

Capital has talent to extend playoff streak to 10th straight year

After success in 4A, Kuna makes the jump to 5A

Borah coaches, players welcome new era

Boise looking to build off three-win season

Middleton expects experience to pay off

Fourth straight title? Bishop Kelly not looking ahead

Eagle will lean on strength of its offensive line

Emmett returns to 4A looking for more history

Receivers, O-line lead way for Skyview

Young, quick Timberline looking for first playoff win

Vallivue ready for return to 4A classification

Caldwell rebuilding after losing 31 seniors to graduation

Meridian returns loads of experience

Nampa eyes an end to playoff drought

Mountain Home trying to end losing streak, turn corner

Young Centennial has strong offseason

Michael Lycklama: 208-377-6424, @MichaelLycklama

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