Photo By Jennifer Hill - #28 Tanner Hill
Written By: Sven Alskog
Young players will gain valuable experience all over the field for Nampa Christian this season, as the team expects to start upwards of four or five sophomores on each side of the ball.
In addition to the young group, the Trojans will also be breaking in a new defensive coordinator in Chris Glenn, who takes over a unit that is led by senior defensive tackles Ranger Mouw and Matt Tiersma and senior safety Tanner Hill.
“We will have to mature quickly, as we could have four or five sophomores starting,” said head coach Cassidy Kotte.
One of the main areas of emphasis this offseason on both sides of the ball has been on building leadership. Finding out who those team leaders will be should be one of the more intriguing parts of the early season schedule.
The coach expects his group of seniors to take charge in that regard.
“I am most excited about the senior leadership and a focus on team versus individuals,” added Kotte.
In regards to offense, Nampa Christian will look almost entirely different than a year ago personnel-wise, with Mouw, a First Team All-Conference center, the most recognizable returner.
For the Trojans in the backfield, Hill and sophomore Dane Bradshaw will be the primary ball-handlers, with fullback Caleb Johnson and quarterback Landon Cheney hoping to join them. Both Johnson and Cheney are also sophomores for the young group.
Nampa Christian runs the spread on offense and knows that coming together and maturing quickly is essential to building up a competitive core group within the program to set the group up for success in the years to come.
“We are a very young team and have a lot of question marks,” said Kotte, who likes the enthusiasm of the team. “This group of players loves the game.”
The Trojans open 2019 with a home non-conference matchup against Grangeville on September 6.