Written By: Sven Alskog
It has been a rapid turnaround on the football field for Murtaugh over the last two years, with a program that had lost 26 games in a row prior to Todd Jensen taking over as head coach winning six games during the 2019 campaign alone.
Players like Gio Zavala, Graden Dimond and Nate Thomas were instrumental in the resurgence of the Red Devils and have all departed after their senior years.
Remaining in place is a group of four All-Conference representatives, including running back Kade Setoki, defensive end Keil Setoki, linebacker Hunter Andersen and lineman Garrett Berry.
“Kade Setoki has grown into a fantastic leader on and off the field. He did summer workouts when no one else was around,” said Jensen.
The cohesiveness of the group is something that the coach is eager to see.
“I am most excited about the tradition of being together for three years and the senior leadership. We have more depth and are overall stronger this year.”
Senior running back Kolby McClure is another returning player to watch, along with newcomers such as Ty Stanger at quarterback, Lewis Gomez at tight end, Freddy Martinez and Zac Gunnell on the line.
The Red Devils will run an up-tempo smashmouth style on offense with a high-risk and high-reward aggressive defense on the other side of the ball.
Jensen wants to see better execution on offense and improved tackling on defense.
If the last two years are any indication, Murtaugh should be expected to once again be an improved team. Replacing Zavala and Dimond will be a tough task offensively, however enough remains in place to allow for the unit to continue putting up points.
Game one for the Red Devils comes on August 30 when the team heads to Hagerman for the season opener.