Photo By Wes Turner - #4 Sean Austin
Written by Wayne Dzubak
2019 was a dream season for the Kuna Kavemen, who posted a 13-0 record rolling to a 4A State Championship. 2020, however, brings a whole new set of challenges as the Kavemen jump to the 5A level.
Head Coach Sherm Blaser enters his fourth year guiding Kuna, and while he lost a ton of talent from last year’s state title team, he brings back some highly regarded players including senior quarterback Sean Austin.
Austin was First-Team All-State in 2019 and will play a huge role this fall.
“Austin is our point guard and needs to distribute the ball to the right players,” Blaser said.
Blaser and his coaching staff are simplifying the offense as they develop players who will step into bigger roles and serve as weapons for the experienced QB.
Receiver Koltin Teater, who earned first-team All-SIC and second-team All-State, will be the key target for Austin and lead the receiving corps but the key to the Kuna offensive attack will be the line.
“We will go where they take us,” Blaser said.
Anchored by Jacob Graves, first-team All-State and fellow senior Austin Brown, the Kuna offensive front looks solid.
Defensively the Kavemen have some questions. They graduated 9 of 11 starters and Blaser claims the key to success will be “getting all eleven players sprinting to the ball.” Senior defensive back Bodie Holland caught the attention of SIC coaches last year, who voted him for honorable mention in 2019. Holland will have to be a leader along with linebacker Roger Navarro.
Blaser likes what he sees from his defensive line and says watch for Iziak Kelso and Karter McGraw on defense.
“Both have shown significant growth since last year,” Blaser said.
Blaser pointed to the showdown at Mountain View as a game with all types of potential playoff ramifications. Blaser also admitted he’s looking forward to Kuna’s game with Eagle, his alma mater.
Offensively, the Kavemen seem to have the pieces in place for another strong showing with the veteran Sean Austin guiding the way. Losing all but two starters on defense leaves plenty of holes to fill and making the jump to 5A won’t make the learning curve any easier.