Buhl High School
Conference: 3A Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference
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Head Coach: Seth Blick
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: 5 Years as Assistant
Record Last Year: 3-5
State Titles: None
Austin Azevedo, QB/LB, 12
Garrett Montgomery, RB/DB, 12
Roy Newberry, WR/DB, 12
Felipe Esclante, OL/DL, 12
Theron Christensen, RB/DE, 12
Gustavo Cervantes, OL/DL, 12
David Razo, WR/DB, 12
Victor Mares, RB/LB, 12
Slade Peyman, WR/DB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Austin Azevedo, First Team All-Conference LB
Key Players lost from last year:
JP Elkin, QB/LB
Hunter Allred, WR/DB
Zyon Cleverley, WR/DB
Jose Cervantes, RB/LB
Mark Poehler, TE/DE
Incoming impact players:
Several key newcomers filling important roles on each side of the ball
Written by: Sven Alskog
Things are looking up for Buhl, as Seth Blick turned what was a winless program in 2015 into a 3-5 team, including a close loss to Weiser that could have went either way.
With the defending conference champion Kimberly Bulldogs having lost a bulk of what was a strong senior class, the door is open within the conference for teams like Buhl and Gooding. If there is anything to take from the Bulldogs success last season it is that the trials and tribulations of going young in years prior can payoff , something the Indians will hope to see themselves in 2017.
Now that Buhl appears to be the new sleeper team within conference action, it is time for the seniors to make their mark.
Some great talent in that group is featured on offense including quarterback Austin Azevedo, the three-headed running back monster of Garrett Montgomery, Theron Christensen and Victor Mares and receivers Roy Newberry, David Razo and Slade Peyman. Each is a senior and will provide great leadership for the younger players now moving up through the program.
"We have a core group of seniors that have been starting since their sophomore year," said Blick. "The varsity experience that is returning should pay dividends on the offensive side of the ball."
The Indians need to do a better job of keeping the defense off the field this year though.
"We hope to increase our time of possession over last year," added Blick.
On defense Buhl is led by All-Conference linebacker Azevedo and quality defensive linemen Felipe Esclante, Gustavo Cervantes and Christensen.
Just like on offense, it is a senior-heavy group that has enough varsity experience to surprise some teams this season.
"Our defense is made up of a great group of seniors all the way from the defensive front through the defensive backfield. There is senior leadership at all levels which will help when introducing former JV players to the style of defense. Defensively we hope to focus on alignment, assignment and physicality at the point of attack," said Blick.
In a conference with some young quarterbacks, Buhl should have a good opportunity to win the plus-minus aspect of the game.
"We hope to create more turnovers than last season to create more opportunities for the offense," said Blick.
Some key talent departed from the team last season due to graduation, however what does return should keep the Indians competitive.
All things considered, this could be the year it all comes together for Buhl.
"I am excited to see how we will respond to some of the changes that the coaching staff has made in the program. These changes combined with a great group of kids should make for an exciting season for Buhl football," said Blick.
The first opportunity to establish the new identity of the program will be August 25 at home against Weiser, a game which can be watched live and free on IdahoSports.com
As the season goes on the schedule shapes up tough, with a road-heavy end of the road.
"All games are a must see," said Blick. "However, we do end the season on the road for our last three games. Two of these games are against conference powerhouses Kimberly and Gooding. Both games are crucial to our season."