Photo By Randy Jones - #16 Cole Gilbert
Written by Chris Deremer
Going into the 2020 season, the Snake River Panthers only have one goal in mind — a state championship. After falling in the 3A Idaho State Semifinals last season, the Panthers believe this can be their year to win it all.
Confidence is high in Snake River, and deservingly so with the Panthers returning five starters on offense and nine on defense from the year before. Jeb Harrison enters his fifth season as head coach for Snake River, hitting a stride within the program at the right time.
Just two seasons ago, the Panthers finished 2018 with a 2-6 record. Then in 2019, the Panthers rebuilt from the ground up to finish 8-3 and make the state semifinals.
Snake River will have to be without Treyton Young, leaving other playmakers to step up within the offense. Young ran for over 3,000 yards in his career at running back and will be missed for the Panthers.
Junior Cole Gilbert will return at quarterback gaining plenty of experience during his sophomore year playing for half the season. Coach Harrison says that the development of his quarterback and wide receivers should help the offense this season.
“We want to be more balanced this year,” Coach Harrison said. “We had a great running back the last couple years that we could lean on. But now we have a great quarterback and lots of quality wide receivers to throw to this season.”
One of the new faces on the Panther offense will be senior wide receiver Rubi Trejo. Coach Harrison says that the athletic ability of Trejo may shock teams this season.
“Rubi Trejo played soccer last season and decided to play football as a senior,” Harrison said. “He will be a game-changer for us.”
The Panther defense looks to be even more dominant in 2020 with an abundance of talent returning for Snake River. Two all-conference defensive ends return for their senior season, looking to wreak havoc throughout the state on opposing quarterbacks.
Clayton Franz and Drake Anderton will be the names to look out for at defensive end. If the Panthers can force pressure on opposing quarterbacks throughout the season, that could make Snake River the most dangerous team in the postseason.