Photo By Wes Turner - #1 Cash Cowdery
Written by Zack Kellogg
There is no question Middleton is coming off a successful 2019 campaign. And with a few adjustments, the Vikings can be in the conversation of state title contenders.
The season ended with a 70-34 loss to Kuna, the eventual state champions, coming in the semi-final round. This came after a hard-fought 13-3 win on the road in Moscow and a 45-16 blowout at home against Jerome.
Bill Brock is heading into his 21st season and will have a high level of offensive weapons to mold a game plan around.
Expectations are to have a pass-heavy offensive scheme, with wideouts including all-conference honorable mention Cash Cowdery, Merit Foote and Tyler Medaris expected to be the main points for production. The pair of Medaris and Cowdery combined for over 100 receptions and 21 touchdowns in 2019 with former quarterback Dallas Hagler.
Rounding out the weapons on offense will be running backs Jake Vickhammer and Brock Philips and wide receivers Mason Nichols and Hayden Gibbs. An offense with this amount of depth at skill positions could give headaches to even the best defenses come the fall.
This sparks the new question of who will be given the keys to the offense in 2020. A battle for the starting job is an even race between Ky McClure and Ray Aguilar-Gallop.
With either quarterback, the goal offensively will be to limit turnovers and take care of the football, something that can be a challenge for systems with new quarterbacks running the show.
Despite losing all-state talent in the secondary and linebacking core, the defense looks to remain in its 3-4 defensive scheme with no changes said to be made in the game plan.
“Players must be willing to play hard between the whistles and do their jobs to the best of their ability,” Brock said.
Foote, who earned second-team all-state accolades in 2019, is returning to defensive back for the Vikings. Vickhammer heads up the linebackers alongside Tyler Brown, both pointed as two of the biggest factors to the success of the defense this season.
The three-man defensive line scheme is led by Isaiah Pearson, who will also be working on the line offensively. The line is supported with plenty of depth in Robert Richardson, Evan St. Michael, Dillon Summers and Max Primero. A deep line on defense could mean constant fresh legs and nonstop games of opposing running backs and quarterbacks having little time to survey the field and find openings.