Murtaugh High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
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Head Coach: Robert Kohler
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Record Last Year: 0-8
State Titles: None
Adrian Gil, Lineman, 12
Adan Saucedo, WR, 12
Incoming impact players:
Paxton Stimpson, QB, 10
Guillermo Zavala, WR, 10
Written by: Sven Alskog
Two straight winless seasons has left the Murtaugh football program with nowhere to go but up, which is where new Head Coach Robert Kohler hopes to lead them.
Since a 78-76 victory over Idaho City on November 1, 2013 the Red Devils have not won a game, struggling in what is arguably the toughest conference in 1AD1, the Snake River Conference.
Even through all of the hard times the kids have continued to battle.
"We have had great participation during the summer and the attitude of the players is incredibly positive," said Kohler. "The players are very committed and hardworking!"
That mindset is huge for what will be a young team learning a new system.
Lineman Adrian Gil and wide receiver Adan Saucedo lead the returners, as both seniors will be relied upon to provide leadership for the Red Devils.
Saucedo is expected to be receiving passes from new single caller Paxton Stimpson. As a sophomore quarterback, Stimpson will need the playmakers around him to step up in order to improve upon the offensive fortunes from a year ago. In 2015 there were four occasions where Murtaugh failed to score more than eight points, including two shutouts.
"We have size and speed, which will require our opponents to defend the entire field," said Kohler.
But as can be expected, there will be a learning curve.
"We are young and inexperienced. We will need to learn and grow quickly."
Stimpson will also have Guillermo Zavala, who Kohler mentioned as an impact newcomer, as a weapon in the receiver core.
Defensively the Red Devils were sliced open on a weekly basis last season, with all but two opponents eclipsing 50 points. The new man on the sideline is excited about the depth on a defensive line that he thinks can be disruptive.
Just like on offense the team will need to grasp new concepts quickly to see improvement on the field this year.
"We need to develop an aggressiveness and defensive identity as a team," said Kohler.
It's a gauntlet of a schedule in the early going, highlighted by matchups with 1AD1 state semifinal participant Raft River in week one and defending state champion Valley in week three.