Ridgevue High School
Conference: 4A Southern Idaho Conference
Share preview with friends!
Head Coach: Tom DeWitz
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Palm Desert HS (CA) and Richland HS (WA)
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: None
Michael Sondermann, RB, 11
Colby Farar, C, 12
Eric Botoluna, OL/DL, 12
Austin Forrest, DB, 11
Iain Brickey, DL, 12
Brock Childers, DB, 11
Key Players lost from last year:
Kade Linder, moving on to play football at Montana Western. Big offensive production and leadership.
Incoming impact players:
Gino Camarino, 12, transfer from Columbia HS. Very talented athlete who is competing for QB position, but can play other positions on both offense and defense.
Written by: Sven Alskog
As can be expected with a startup program, year number one for the Ridgevue Warhawks football team had its trials and tribulations.
After a 1-8 mark last season, the lone win coming over Mountain Home, second year Head Coach Tom DeWitz hopes to take full advantage of the fact that his team had a real offseason this time around.
"I am excited to see how far the program has progressed with the benefit of a true offseason, which we didn’t have going in to last season," said DeWitz. "We have worked hard in the weight room, spring camp and summer camp developing talent, chemistry and trust."
On the offensive side of the ball, the Warhawks have a long way to go before they get where they would eventually like to be, however quarterback transfer Gino Camarino might help to reach that destination a little quicker.
Camarino is a talented option who is in the mix at quarterback and a couple of other positions, so where he eventually ends up will depend largely on how the first week or so of camp goes. His primary competition will come from Colton Crawford. Regardless, the senior should have a big role on this team.
For Ridgevue, the hope is that if Camarino is indeed the choice behind center, that the team will be able to supplement his skills with a quality run game.
"We are working hard to improve the run game from last year and that is where we need to improve the most to reach our potential offensively," said DeWitz. "Junior Michael Sondermann is clearly our running back going into the season and he along with the offensive line have had a solid offseason of work. Colby Farar is our center and offensive line leader. If we can run the ball our spread/go fast style will build off that run game."
While a year ago the offense struggled to score points, perhaps the bigger challenge to patch together was the defense, a unit which allowed 49 or more points on five separate occasions a year ago. Young players were able to get plenty of live game experience however, so even though it led to difficulties last season, the payoff could be big down the road.
"Statistically we need to improve everywhere defensively," said DeWitz. "To help us accomplish this our focus has been to improve our communication and teamwork on the defensive side. We will be young on this side of the ball, so simple, fast communication will be critical to us being able to execute our assignments and play fast."
He mentioned a few of the key players looking ahead for Ridgevue.
"The strength of our defense is our outside linebacker and strong safety positions on the perimeter of the defense. This group is led by junior Austin Forrest, who is our leading tackler returning from last year. We will employ a multiple front defense to adapt to varying situations and offenses we will see throughout a game and season. Iain Brickey on the defensive line and linebacker Carson Fisk will be our anchors and leaders on the defensive front."
For a program still trying to build up in only its second year, ensuring as much depth as possible by staying healthy is essential.
"We will have to stay healthy for sure," said DeWitz. "We will need outstanding play from the quarterback position, whether that is Gino Camarino or Colton Crawford."
Ridgevue begins the 2017 season on a Thursday night against Boise at Dona Larsen Park.