Century High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Travis Hobson
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: Head Coach at Century – 2 seasons
Head Coach at Shelley – 3 seasons
Assistant Coach at Shelley – 8 seasons
Record Last Year: 1-8
State Titles: 2001, 2002, 2004
Travis White, LB, 12
Colton Turner, RB, 12
Coleton Adamson, WR/LB, 12
Rex Ravsten, LB, 12
Dreyton Lugo, OL/DL, 12
Ben Ditton, DB/WR, 12
Drew Reagan, DB, 12
Ben Rosenhoover, DL, 12
Key Players lost from last year:
Easton Anderson, OL/LB
Cole Echohawk, WR
Blaize Trulson, QB/WR/DB
Photo By: Willy Harris - #7 Colton Turner
Incoming impact players:
Iggy Serrano, DE, 12
Cole McKinlay, QB, 11
Deshun Harwell, DB/WR, 11
Adam Ames, DB, 11
Mike Branson, RB/LB, 11
Jackson Yearsley, RB, 11
Cody Johnston, OL, 11
Anthony Land, OL, 11
Joey Newman, DL, 11
Carter Scott, DB, 11
Written by: Matt Harris
The Century Diamondbacks 2015 season went about as well as it could have under then-first year head coach Travis Hobson. An 8-4 record. A state semifinals appearance. The 2016 season? Well… it can be summed up in three words: youth and injuries.
The 2017 edition of the Diamondbacks already know that they will be dealing with the former and hoping that the latter doesn’t come into play. After a season that had an almost completely new cast of characters and injuries that derailed key positions before the team ever took the field for their first regular season game, Century is optimistic and hungry to make up for lost time. And many others are joining the cause.
“This is the largest this program has been in terms of participation in years, if not, ever,” said Hobson. “We finally have the ability to platoon athletes at every position. Even in the case of injury, we have depth to cover our needs.”
The coach said the Diamondbacks summer program has aided in their preparation for the season more than any other year since he’s been in Pocatello.
“Our guys have figured out what a weight room is and what purpose it serves, they’ve been grinding all summer and putting in the time with their noses in the playbook,” said Hobson. “Coaches are excited. Players are competing. These kinds of things are contagious and make everyone excited.”
The team certainly needed to get into the playbook as deep as they could – this year’s edition is brand new.
“We bulldozed the offense and started anew. New scheme, new philosophy, new faces,” Hobson said. “As of right now, without having played a single game, our only strength is our youth and the fact that they’ve been indoctrinated with a new approach for eight months. Our offensive staff has a good idea of what our guys are capable of, but we don’t need any bad karma throwing darts at projections.”
Orchestrating that new-look offense on the field will be junior quarterback Cole McKinlay. He’ll be joined in the backfield by senior running back Colton Turner, with juniors Mike Branson and Jackson Yearsley also seeing time at the position. McKinlay’s targets at wide receiver include seniors Coleton Adamson and Ben Ditton, along with junior Deshun Harwell. On the line up front, senior Drayton Lugo will look to anchor the protection along with juniors Cody Johnston and Anthony Land.
Those upperclassmen will be looked upon to lead and guide the sophomores and freshman that will play big roles in the offense. But even they will have to adjust to the new schemes.
“The learning curve of our offense is steep,” Hobson said. “No area of the offense is beyond reproach.”
The head coach added that the success of their season could very well depend on how quickly the offense develops.
“There are a few things in high school football that just take time and experience. Offense is one of them,” he said. “Unfortunately, with so many young guys on the offensive side of the ball, snaps will be at a premium.”
The defensive side of the ball is where the Diamondbacks will have to lean on while the offense finds their groove. Unlike the offense, the defense brings back a lot of experience, including Adamson and fellow seniors Travis White and Rex Ravsten in the linebacking corps. Branson may also see time at the position.
The line will see Lugo along with senior Ben Rosenhoover look to disrupt opposing offenses. Senior defensive end Iggy Serrano will join the duo along with junior Joey Newman. In the secondary, look to Ditton and senior Drew Reagan to wreak havoc at defensive back, along with Harwell and fellow juniors Adam Ames and Carter Scott.
“We have aggressive and smart linebackers that play well in space, depth in the secondary and both speed and size up front compared to previous seasons,” said Hobson. “I expect the defense to carry the team in the early part of the season while the offense goes through some growing pains.”
Hobson added that while his defense may have experience coming back, they need to gain experience in closing out games.
“We need to eliminate the big plays and see the job to completion. We had teams on the ropes through the third quarters of a handful of games last season and just ran out of gas,” he said. “If my guys are cars, they need to worry about putting the pedal-on-the-right through the floorboard more than how loud the music is or who is riding shotgun; even turn signals, traffic signs, and whether or not there’s a cop around the corner. If we’re going to be successful, our defense needs to be doing 120 all the time.”
Century’s defense is sure to be wheeling-and-dealing around Holt Arena this season, starting on Aug. 24 when the Diamondbacks play host to the new-look Burley Bobcats. They then travel to face perennial playoff team Minico on Sept. 1, before returning back to the dome for two consecutive games against Blackfoot on Sept. 8 and cross-town rival Highland on Sept. 15.
The purple-and-black then hit the road again for two straight week when they play at Preston on Sept. 22 and at defending 4A champion Skyline on Sept. 29. The Diamondbacks will then close out the season with three straight contests at Holt Arena, including Oct. 5 against arch-rival Pocatello, Oct. 13 versus Twin Falls, and on Oct. 20 against Idaho Falls.
When asked what the biggest game on the schedule is this season, Hobson didn’t hesitate.
“Every game matters to us, but if it has to be boiled down? Our fans already know that answer,” he said.
If Century can quickly establish their offense and use their depth to their advantage, it’s certainly possible that we could see the Diamondbacks back in the playoffs sooner rather than later.