Fruitland High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
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Head Coach: Ryan Tracy
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Record Last Year: 7-3
State Titles: 1993, 2006, 2010
Tyler Eiguren, TE/DL
Caleb Ziegler, LB/RB
Jeremy Black, DL/OL
Returning Players with Honors:
Casey Rodriguez, All-Conference DB
Photo By: Patty Theurer - #2 Tyler Eiguren
Written by: Sven Alskog
With Emmett moving up to the 4A classification, the 3A Snake River Valley Conference has the looks of a two-horse race between Fruitland and Homedale in 2016. Parma will also be a contender, while Weiser and Payette look to bounce back from tough seasons last year.
The Grizzlies have a strong upperclassmen core returning that is eager to move further in the state playoffs after falling 28-26 at Sugar-Salem in the quarterfinals last season.
"We have a great group of kids and senior leaders on this football team," said fourth year Head Coach Ryan Tracy.
All-Conference defensive back Casey Rodriguez highlights the returners, while Tyler Eiguren and Jeremy Black will be the stalwarts on the defensive line. Eiguren is also a weapon as a tight end on offense, while Black mans the front line.
After a great high school career, running back Garrett Tipton has graduated, leaving Caleb Ziegler in position to step into his shoes.
Perhaps the biggest key to determine how the season goes will be the offensive front.
"Our offensive line has to come together and play physical," said Tracy.
Fruitland runs the Wing-T, meaning the number one running back has a huge say on the success of the team.
"Running the football is our strength. [We hope] to become more balanced," said Tracy.
The Grizzlies should once again be able to run the ball successfully, while the defensive unit looks strong in the run game. Slowing the aerial assault will be focus area number one for improvement.
Having Rodriguez back as a leader in the secondary should help in that regard, with less experienced talent to be relied on around him.
After a 7-3 mark last season, Fruitland begins the new campaign with a road affair at Middleton on August 26, with a huge non-conference tilt with Gooding slated for September 9 at home. The Gooding matchup should give a pretty good indication on where the Grizzlies stand in the 3A state title chase.