Photo By Clayton Bunt: #72 Ryan Spaeth
Written By: Sven Alskog
Over recent history the football program at Raft River has been among the most consistent in the state at the 1AD1 classification. After a successful first season under new head coach Chad Evans, the Trojans are ready to build on that 6-3 record.
Familiar faces Cutler Erickson and Rylee Spencer have graduated, however Second Team All-Conference linebacker and Honorable Mention All-Conference wide receiver Justin Schumann teams with Second Team All-Conference lineman Ryan Spaeth to form a talented duo of returners that looks to lead the way this year.
Perhaps most exciting for Raft River though is what is coming up through the program, including a freshman class that went undefeated last year and a JV group that has not lost in two years.
Some of those newcomers to watch include Bodee Spencer, Ethan Bernad, Adam Boden and Kagen “Milkshake” Knudson.
Spencer is listed as a quarterback and defensive back, Bernad and Boden as running backs and Knudson a linebacker. With Erickson having graduated, expect Bernad and Boden to take over a major workload out of the backfield.
“We have been, and will continue to be, a run-first, pound it out type of offense,” said Evans. “We are going to be physically smaller than last year, but Raft River has never been known to field large kids. What these kids lack in size, they make up for in discipline and determination.”
In addition to the group of newcomers, Kolton and Carson Durfee, Gage Gregerson and Laton Taylor are some of the returners that are expected to make big impacts.
“This group of kids has always had good chemistry and have the same ultimate goal in mind. We are going to put the best eight players on the field every snap, no exceptions,” added Evans.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Trojans have consistently been a tough group to move the ball against. Expect that trend to continue this year as the unit attempts to make things difficult for the opposition.
“We are going to throw out multiple looks defensively and try to keep offenses guessing,” said Evans.
Raft River takes the field for the first time on August 30 with a home game against Idaho City, a team which returns plenty of talent in its own right this season.