Cole Valley Christian High School
Conference: 2A Western Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Dan Reece
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: Two seasons as CVC Defensive Coordinator
Record Last Year: 2-6
State Titles: None
Steve Hopkins (Offensive Coordinator)
Adam Alaniz (WRs/DBs)
Dennis Piatt (QBs)
Jesse Frisinger (OL)
QB Luke Lithander (Sr)
FB/LB Josh Mick (Sr)
OL/DL Kevin Niccolls (Sr)
OL/DL Brad Van Ausdle (Sr)
DB Tanner Renfrow (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Lithander (1st-Team All-WIC QB)
Mick (2nd-Team All-WIC FB)
Van Ausdle (2nd-Team All-WIC T)
Mason Drum (2nd-Team All-WIC C)
Niccolls (Honorable Mention All-WIC T)
Key Players lost from last year:
WR/DB James Lamb (All-WIC)
WR/DB Kylan Ross (All-WIC)
DE Chandler Grunzke (All-WIC)
Photo By: Patty Theurer - #6 Luke Lithander
Incoming impact players:
TE Ryan Beglinger (Jr)
WR Zach Pasculi (Jr)
LB Sam Jones (Soph)
WR Brady Frame (Fr)
RB Obi Gee (Fr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
If you’re a believer in a 2-6 team being deceptively good, you’re probably a fan of Cole Valley Christian.
Last season’s Charger team won just two of eight games, but three of the team’s losses were by one score or less. A fourth was by just 14 points. A bounce here, a fortunate break there …
That’s how small the margin can be between playing in the 2A state playoffs and missing out on the post-season party. Third-year head coach Dan Reece and his team are hoping to take the next step in 2016 and be one of the teams playing once the calendar flips to November.
The Chargers will rely on all-conference quarterback Luke Lithander. The senior playmaker will be protected up front by a big, veteran offensive line, headlined by senior tackles Brad Van Ausdle and Kevin Niccolls. Lithander no longer has all-conference receivers James Lamb or Kylan Ross to throw to, which opens the door for other players to grow into more prominent roles. Juniors Ryan Beglinger (TE) and Zach Pasculi (WR) figure to have a bigger hand in the Chargers offense this season. Reece and his coaching staff also have promising freshman Brady Frame, who could also see time at receiver for the Chargers.
One of Reece’s stated goals for the upcoming season is to run the ball more effectively. The team’s deep, talented offensive line is a good start. Another piece of the puzzle is fullback Josh Mick. If the senior can help spring the team’s ground attack between the tackles, the Charger offense could be tough to handle. Senior Drew Knapp and freshman Obi Gee could also factor into the backfield rotation.
On defense, Van Ausdle returns along the defensive line with Niccolls and junior Mason Drum. They’ll be tasked with controlling the line of scrimmage so Mick and the team’s other linebackers can make plays. Tanner Renfrow returns in the secondary for the Chargers, whose defense only allowed two teams – playoff-bound foes Declo and Nampa Christian – to crack 30 points.
“We have a great mix of youth and experience to go along with depth and enthusiasm for the game,” Reece said of his squad.
The Chargers will face Declo once again on September 1, the third consecutive year the two teams have met. Declo has gotten the best of Cole Valley Christian the first two times, something the Chargers undoubtedly hope to reverse in 2016.
The 2A Western Idaho Conference appears deep this season, with defending league champion Nampa Christian returning a talented team along with Melba and New Plymouth. Marsing appears primed to take a step forward this season and McCall-Donnelly is a wild-card team in conference play.
That’s a long way of saying the Chargers, who also have the looks of a quality team, won’t have an easy path to the 2A state playoffs. But, with Cole Valley Christian hosting both New Plymouth and Melba before a season-ending matchup with Nampa Christian – a game that Reece characterized as “a strong, brother versus brother, rivalry” – the Chargers will have every opportunity to make sure that they control their own destiny this season.