Photo By Kelly Magee - Ty Hyde
Written by Dylan Carder, Sports Director KIFI/KIDK
Switching positions is nothing new in football. One transition you don't see too often is from offensive tackle to quarterback. Two weeks before the 2018 season began for the Preston Indians, Ty Hyde made that move. He ended up finishing the season with 1500 yards and all-conference honorable mention.
Now that the senior has had an entire off-season to prepare to be behind center, head coach Eric Thorson will look for Hyde to lead and experienced group to greater success in 2019. The majority of the starters for this season played significant time on varsity last season and they have starters returning from nearly every position.
Thorson says Hyde made some “new guy” mistakes at quarterback as he was learning the position, but quickly developed. They will look to improve their execution and operate at a higher level together. Hyde has several weapons returning, lead by all-conference first team wide receiver Scott Dunn.
The offense will also have all-conference second team wide receiver and running back Andrew Iverson. Garrett Ward and Zay Davis are back as ball carriers for the Preston offense. Both of them earning all-conference honorable mention a year ago. Dunn, Iverson, Ward, and Davis are all seniors.
The one spot that Preston has the least amount of experience is on the line, the defensive line in particular. Two key cogs in the trenches on both sides of the ball for the Indians last year were Riley Parker and Wes Talbot. Both have graduated.
Defensively, the Indians will look to stop the power run game. They will need some of the younger players to develop and fill those roles this season. Junior defensive end Cole Harris is a player moving up to varsity that could be a factor in doing that. Dallin Palmer is moving up into a varsity roll on both lines. Thorson noted how he has grown in strength and in understanding of the game. Linebacker Tate Rawlings, also a junior, could be a factor in helping a young defensive find itself as well.
Preston fell in the first round of the 4A playoffs in 2018, losing to state runner-up Bishop Kelly. With the experience coming back, the Indians should be considered a team that could get back into the playoffs. The East Pod of the Great Basin Conference will be a stiff competition, but Preston will be right up there with the top of the league. Road games at Pocatello and Minico and a home game against Century will be key games that will determine where Preston finishes this season.