Photo By Chris Megaard - #86 Brycen Uffens
Written by Dylan Carder, Sports Director KIFI/KIDK
For the past five seasons, Highland and Madison have finished in the top two of the 5A D5-6 conference. The Rigby Trojans are optimistic that they have the talent and experience to break through and put that streak to be in 2019.
Having an experienced senior quarterback is one reason to believe in the Trojans. Keegan Thompson is back with a year as starter under his belt. Head coach Armando Gonzalez says Thompson “has come a long way and is running the offense with precision.”
Rigby also has a veteran offensive up front to protect the quarterback and open up holes for the running backs. Senior Landon Cook was first team all-district last season. He is back to anchor the line. He will be joined by fellow returners senior Carson Johnson, senior Micah Moss, and junior BJ Madsen.
The Trojans are also excited about the offensive weapons that will carry and catch the ball for them. Senior tight end Brycen Uffens returns to bring the experience. He will be joined by some exciting newcomers that Gonzalez hopes will “find ways to contribute as the Trojans look to keep defenses on their heels.” He specifically pointed out junior wide receivers Colton Edwards and Trajan Larsen, along with sophomore running back Zhiek Falevai.
On the defensive side of the ball, there is just as much for Rigby to look forward to. In the trenches, the Trojans are returning two of their three main contributors from last season. Back in uniform in 2019 are first team all-district defensive lineman Zhigy Falevai and Tanoa Togiai.
There will be quite the hole to fill in the middle of the defense. Gone to graduation is linebacker Jaxon Graham. Gonzalez referred to Graham as the “definition of a linebacker,” saying he “held our defense together.” Junior returner Landon Johnson will look to step up along with sophomore Logan Fredricksen.
The secondary will be “something special to witness” according to Gonzalez. Seniors Trey Talbot and Peyten Richardson are back to patrol the defensive backfield. There will also be some newcomers that will be looking to stand out and contribute to the defense right away.
Rigby is looking for their experience and maturity to help put them over the top. They have also been busy in the weight room. Gonzalez says his team is bigger, stronger, and faster than they have ever been.
The schedule is also kind to the Trojans this year. Both of their games against Highland and Madison will be at home. The Bobcats come south on September 27 and the Rams head north on October 25. If they take care of business, it lines up nicely this season for Rigby to break up the top of the conference standings.