Blackfoot High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Stan Buck
Years as Head Coach: 26th Season
Previous Experience: 32 Years Overall as Head Coach
Record Last Year: 8-4
State Titles: 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012
Key Players lost from last year:
Pacen Hayes, QB
Jagger Leavitt, RB
Konnor Robinson, WR
Tayson Neff, DB
Nyko Flores, WR
Nathan Colvin, LB
Sagejun Smith, NG
Written by: Matt Harris
The 2016 edition of the Blackfoot Broncos had a season you would expect from a Stan Buck-coached team: solid success in their conference and a deep playoff run.
The kelly green-clad team had plenty of experience on both sides of the ball with multiple-year starters. Players like Pacen Hayes, who started for three-and-a-half seasons at quarterback, Jagger Leavitt, Nyko Flores, and Konnor Robinson on offense. Guys like Tayson Neff, Nathan Colvin, and Sagejun Smith who helped lead the way on defense. Those players, however, have all graduated.
Of course, that means that the 2017 Broncos will see a number of youngsters move into leadership roles and continue the tradition of Blackfoot football.
Buck, who is now in his 26th season as head coach of the Broncos, and his staff will look to work in the talents of numerous newcomers along side the five total returning starters, including two on offense and three on defense. The coach indicated that he is excited to see how the new players perform.
Back in the fold for Blackfoot is senior Rayce Shelley, who was listed as the Broncos backup quarterback a year ago. Senior offensive lineman Tucker Hansen will help anchor the line. On the opposite side of the ball, senior Swayd Bailey will lead the defensive front with senior Sean Clarke locking down the secondary.
The head coach was clear in what his team needed to do this season if they were to have success.
“Teamwork and finish,” he said.
The new-look Broncos will be tested early on with three straight road games to open the season. They begin on Aug. 25 when they travel westward to face their longtime rivals, the Snake River Panthers. On Labor Day weekend, the team heads north to take on Hillcrest on Sept. 1, which is then followed by a trip to Holt Arena in Pocatello to face Century in the conference opener on Sept. 8.
The annual ‘Buck Bowl’ then takes center stage on Sept. 15 in Blackfoot’s first home game when they face the Madison Bobcats. Madison is coached by Stan’s brother, Mitch Buck. The Broncos then continue their homestand against Rigby on Sept. 22 before facing Idaho Falls on Sept. 29 at home in another conference game.
The month of October opens with Blackfoot playing two of three games away from Hartkopf Field. The Broncos play on the road at defending champion Skyline on Oct. 6 before travelling southward to Preston on Oct. 13. The regular season concludes on Oct. 20 when they take on Pocatello at home.
“Skyline should be the front runner, but it will be a battle for all,” said Buck.
If Blackfoot can integrate their newcomers and develop chemistry quickly, expect the Broncos to certainly be in contention for another playoff spot this season.