Photo By Wes Turner - #6 Keegan Porter
Written by Meredith Spelbring
The Hillcrest High School football team starts the fall 2020 season with nothing short of a stacked roster.
The Knights return 19 key players from the 2019 season from a team that finished the year with a 5-5 record. 2019 proved to be a year of tribulation one year removed from a Hillcrest state championship. But thanks to a strong supporting cast, head coach Kevin Meyer said he expects his team to get back on track.
Of the nearly 20 key returners, the Knights will have junior first-team all-conference running back Tre Kofe and senior second-team all-conference defensive back Demik Hatch. Senior second-team all-conference linebacker Brett Bartell and honorable mention offensive linebackers Keegan Porter and Garrett Phippen also return for the 2020 season.
Even with a strong lineup of veteran talent, Hillcrest lost both its entire offensive and defensive line to graduation, Meyer said.
Coming in for the Knights are 6-foot-4, 315-pound senior transfer J.T. Roberts, and tight ends Austin Murdock and Dylan Miller — the new varsity players are all expected to make a quick impact on the team’s performance throughout the season, Meyer said.
Meyer said he plans on the team’s running game to be a key component of play this season and expects both the offensive line to step up and limit turnovers.
“Our philosophy is to be the most physical offensive team every Friday night, beginning with establishing the running game,” Meyer said.
Returners Kofe, Porter, Greenig and Hatch are all projected to play integral roles in the offensive success this season, but Meyer said he expects everyone on the offensive side to do their part.
“It will be important for our offensive line (including TE’s and Fullbacks) to step up and be dominant upfront for our running game and not turn over the football,” he said.
On defense, replacing a fully lost defensive line after the fall 2019 season will be a big hurdle for the team to overcome this fall. After such a substantial loss, the returning starting players will make that much more of an impact. Linebackers Brett Bartell, Garrett Phippen, Keegan Porter, starting corner Noah Whitaker and safety Demik.
Hatch will all be relied on for significant contributions to the defensive success throughout the season, Meyer said.
Stay tuned to IdahoSports.com for updated Hillcrest scores and schedules throughout the season.