Payette High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
Share preview with friends!
Head Coach: Kip Crofts
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: Eagle High School, Meridian High School, Bishop Kelly High School
Record Last Year: 0-9
Chris Walker, QB, 11
Kapen Burke, WR, 12
Tully Martin, OL, 12
Noah Rice, DL, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Chris Walker, Honorable Mention All-Conference QB
Kapen Burke, Honorable Mention All-Conference WR
Tully Martin, Honorable Mention All-Conference OL
Noah Rice, Honorable Mention All-Conference DL
Key Players lost from last year:
Walker Lambert, Second Team All-Conference OL, Honorable Mention LB
Josh Bake, Second Team All-Conference DL
Mikhail Lebow, Second Team All-Conference RB/DB
Johnny Herrera, Honorable Mention All-Conference WR/DB
Tito Garcia, Honorable Mention All-Conference LB
Photo By: Paty Theurer - #1 Chris Walker
Written by: Sven Alskog
Since an 8-3 season in 2009 it has been a struggle for the Payette football program, not finishing above the .500 mark during that stretch.
Talented players have come through the Pirate football program, highlighted by former Idaho State defensive lineman Tyler Kuder, who as of July 23 is a member of the Green Bay Packers as a non-drafted free agent.
New Head Coach Kip Crofts, a long-time fixture around the Treasure Valley, including leading Meridian to the 5A State Championship in 2007, will be the one tasked with molding together a young group.
The returners are highlighted by quarterback Chris Walker, an All-Conference Honorable Mention Selection last season who looks to lead the rebound from an 0-9 record in the 2015 campaign.
Gone are some of the pieces around Walker, including Second Team All-Conference running back Mikhail Lebow and Honorable Mention receiver Johnny Herrera.
Senior staple Tully Martin will be the anchor of a relatively young offensive line group which will be paramount to the offensive success of Payette.
"We will be a ball control offense," said Crofts. "Run first, pass when necessary."
There are multiple areas the new head coach has highlighted to improve for an offensive unit that failed to score more than 13 points in a game last year.
It starts with simplifying the offense, controlling the ball and then turning that ball control into points. To do each of those things the Pirates have to be in the right positions, making the weeks of practice leading up to the season even more important under a new regime.
On defense Payette allowed over 33 points in every game, with the team hoping to avoid yielding the big plays.
All of the young talent will have to grow up fast, but the first year man on the sidelines looks forward to the challenge.
"[I'm most excited about] getting to know the kids and watching them grow," said Crofts.
The 2016 season begins on August 26 with the Pirates hosting the Cole Valley Chargers. The first conference matchup is on September 23 at home against Fruitland.