Head Coach: Mike Virden
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season (2nd Stint)
Previous Experience: Meridian Head Coach
Ellsworth College Head Coach
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Head Coach
College of Idaho QB Coach
Record Last Year: 4-6
State Titles: 1986, 2005, 2007
Tyler Barron, OL, 11
Colby Oskolkoff, DL, 12
Jojo Seward, DB, 12
Javen Woodall, WR/CB, 12
Kenny Taufoou, DL, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Javen Woodall, Honorable Mention All-SIC FLEX
Key Players lost from last year:
Joey Lyman, DL, 1st Team All-SIC
Nate Weddle, QB, 2nd Team All-SIC
Kordell Crawford, DB, 2nd Team All-SIC
Samaje Woodall, Honorable Mention All-SIC RB
Reese Crabtree, Honorable Mention All-SIC DL
Photo By: Willy Harris - #23 Javen Woodall
Incoming impact players:
Devon Fox, RB, 11
Micah Franklyn, WR, 11
Emmett Sale, LB, 11
Julian Valenzuela, DB, 12
Written By: Sven Alskog
Similar to what Columbia has done by hiring former Boise State running back Jon Helmandollar to run its program, Meridian has brought back former head coach and Bronco quarterback Mike Virden for a second stint, hoping this one leads to as much success as the first one did.
In Virden’s first tenure the Warriors brought home a state championship during the 2005 season.
The not so new head coach inherits a program which has seen some success recently under Porter Lacey, including a playoff appearance last season.
Quarterback Nate Weddle has graduated, leaving a tough hole to fill at the signal-caller position, however talented running back Javen Woodall should help ease the transition for whoever steps in under center.
Junior offensive lineman Tyler Barron looks to anchor the group up front against some powerful defensive lines in the 5A SIC.
Things appear to be in place for the group to score some points this season.
“Balanced offense with young but extremely talented players. Biggest surprise for me. Juniors Tyler Barron and Micah Franklyn look to make a big impact for us this fall,” said Virden.
He hopes to see the unit gain consistency as the season goes on to become more effective on a regular basis.
On the other side of the ball, Meridian has a front line that can cause havoc for the opposition.
“I like our defensive front as our strength. Kenny Taufoou and Colby Oskolkoff will anchor our defensive line,” added Virden.
Returner Jojo Seward and newcomer Julian Valenzuela will be key contributors in the defensive backfield, with incoming junior linebacker Emmett Sale ready to see a good workload in the middle.
Meridian will be one of the less experienced teams in the 5A SIC this year, however the up-and-coming talent will make the Warriors a tougher test than some may expect within conference play.
“Loved how hard our players worked all summer. Very dedicated. We will have a young group of players with a small, but very talented, [group] of senior players,” said Virden.
Virden and the Warriors start the season on August 24 by hosting Eagle.