Photo By Wes Turner - #11 Austin Perkins
Written by Brandon Hill
A rough outing for Filer in 2019 ended in a 1-9 finish in the 3A Sawtooth Central Idaho Conference. But a new season brings new beginnings, and second-year head coach Tyrone Hess said he’s ready to usher in a new era of Wildcat football, starting with Week 1.
To open the season in 2019, the Wildcats dropped a 40-0 contest to North Fremont. Filer debuts against their 2A rival once again in 2020, and Hess said he couldn’t be more eager to enact revenge.
“They’ve pretty much ‘owned’ us since I’ve been here, and we’re looking to start faster this year,” he said.
Hess will have plenty of blocks to build on, with the return of senior quarterback Logan Lockwood. Hess also added a new offensive coordinator to his staff in Aaron Rife, who he said should implement new schemes for his experienced signal caller.
But Lockwood’s production relies on his front line, the key cog in Filer’s offensive machine, Hess said. Luckily for the Wildcats, Cooper Trease returns to help anchor the line, along with fellow stalwarts Gage Ruby and Owenn Meyer.
“We all know it’s won and lost up front,” Hess said. “Doesn’t matter what you do skill wise if you lose in the trenches. Cooper Trease has worked extremely hard all year and nearly doubled his strength.”
On the other side of the ball, Hess said the Wildcats will utilize a flexible 3-4 scheme, with multiple looks in the works, a drastic change from last year. Making offenses one-dimensional will be the main focus in 2020, shutting down receivers and forcing running backs to fight their way through the line.
“It will be the back end of our defense that will hopefully allow us to win up front. If we can’t single cover and have to ‘bracket’ guys, that takes an extra body out of the box,” Hess said. “Makes it hard to put heat on the QB when you have to double cover guys.”
The crucial secondary will be led by Austin Perkins, a third-year starter at the defensive back position. To help increase the athleticism of his squad, Hess also added defensive back Joseph Berteo. Berteo, according to Hess, hasn’t placed a foot on the gridiron since the fifth grade, but is extremely eager to make a difference for the Wildcats.
“The wildcard could be the development of Joseph Berteo, who would give some much needed size and speed to our secondary,” Hess said. “That could potentially be a huge difference maker for us.”
Filer opens the season Aug. 28 against North Fremont, debuting the Wildcats’ hunt for their first state title.