Meridian High School
Conference: 5A Southern Idaho Conference - West Division Pod A
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Head Coach: Porter Lacey
Years as Head Coach: 5th Season
Previous Experience: 6 Seasons at New Plymouth
Record Last Year: 4-6
State Titles: 1986, 2006, 2007
Nate Weddle, QB, 12
Reese Crabtree, DL, 12
Kordell Crawford, DB/WR, 12
Luke Dominiak, LB, 12
Gunnar Fehrer, TE/LB, 12
Joey Lyman, TE/DL, 12
Luke Schraer, RB, 12
Bridger Walter, WR/DB, 12
Dylan Witt, OL/DL, 12
Samaje Woodall, RB/LB, 12
Javen Woodall, WR/DB, 11
Zach Kinzel, WR, 12
Carter Baumgartner, WR, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Reese Crabtree, Second Team All-Conference DL
Key Players lost from last year:
From Coach Lacey:
"Andrew Weimer – Was Second Team SIC DB last year was one of the most solid student-athletes MHS has produced during my time. He was a 2-way starter, a 4.0 student and one of the nicest kids I have ever met.
Brady Walling – Brady was our most productive WR last year.
Jake McBride – Jake was a 3 year starter on the O-Line.
Parker Smith – Parker was also a 3 year starter on the O-Line.
Isaac Hatvani – Isaac played multiple positions mostly at WR. He filled in at QB when Weddle got hurt last year. "
Incoming impact players:
Dustin Peterson, OL/DL, 11
Trent Graves, QB, 10
Written by: Sven Alskog
The injury bug bit the Meridian Warriors in the worst kind of way on the football field last season, with 5th year Head Coach Porter Lacey hoping that this year his team will be able to evade it as much as possible.
While all of those injuries meant more of a struggle at points last year than the Warriors would have liked, what it means is that younger players and other backups had plenty of opportunities to gain experience in key game situations, meaning the depth will be better this time around.
"Last year we had many injuries and other circumstances that kept players out and we lacked the depth to adequately compete at an elevated level as a result," said Lacey. "We are focusing on getting our younger players and backups confidence to step in."
One of the main challenges offensively for Meridian will be piecing together an offensive line to battle against some of the premier 5A defenses.
Three year starters on the line in Jake McBride and Parker Smith have both graduated, leaving the door open for Dylan Witt and Dustin Peterson to hold crucial roles among the five up front in 2017.
For Lacey, that offensive line is the clear x-factor to compete in conference play.
"Offensive line must step up and play hard. They will be young."
While plenty of talent exited from the offense, what does return is exciting for the Warriors.
"Although we lost a lot of skill players last season, we have been able to reload and are fairly capable at wide receiver, quarterback and running back. We are a spread offense," said Lacey.
Seniors are all over the place at the skill positions on offense, led by quarterback Nate Weddle, running backs Luke Schraer and Samaje Woodall, and receivers Kordell Crawford, Bridger Walter and Carter Baumgartner.
A defense that held up pretty well for the most part last season returns some key pieces as well.
"Reese Crabtree and Joey Lyman will help make our defensive line solid. They both started last year and we expect them to play well. Our secondary has some key returning players including Bridger Walter and Kordell Crawford," added Lacey.
It's a tight knit group on both sides of the ball for Meridian, something which should help a lot in the trenches.
"What excites me most is our tight bond we have formed over the summer," said Lacey. "Our guys genuinely care about and play hard for each other."
The Warriors begin the 2017 campaign on August 25 at home against Centennial.