Photo By Patty Theurer - #15 Tom Simpson
Written by Hailey Stewart
Although the Dragons lost some key players after the 2019 season, Head Coach Kory Kay expects this year’s seniors to bring a strong sense of skill and make an immediate impact on both sides of the ball.
Kay said many of the team’s key offensive positions will walk onto the field more experienced than ever. Those key players, he said, will hopefully be able to establish an early run game and make dominant plays in the open field.
“Guys up front make or break us,” Kay said. “We have great athletes that can make things happen when holes are made or time is given in the passing game.”
Senior quarterback Tom Simpson will also return to the field, helping create a smooth transition of leadership from last season to this fall.
Besides a 42-18 win against Wendell and a 35-56 loss against Aberdeen, the Dragons had trouble finding the end zone, scoring less than 14 points in four games during the 2019 season.
The Malad weight room has seen a great deal of growth from the Dragons this summer, Kay said. Junior safety Jace Williams, junior running back Tayson Davis, offensive junior lineman Odey Schulz and junior offensive lineman Justin Whittman have all put in the time and effort to bulk up in the weight room and bring a larger presence to the field, Kay said.
Kay also expects senior running back Clay Brackin and senior center Hayden Schwartz to become strong leaders this fall.
On the defensive end, Kay sees this year’s team as a tougher and more athletic group. Senior linebacker Tayvin Scott will serve as a leader for the defense this season, Kay said.
The Dragons will look to showcase an aggressive defensive style this year, while “not backing down from anyone or anything,” Kay said.
Like past seasons, Kay said Homecoming week is always most exciting for the team and community. That game will take place on Sept. 11 against North Fremont. Malad hasn’t played North Fremont since 2017.
With his past experience as an assistant as West Jefferson, Kay said he also looks forward to that matchup on Sept. 18. The Dragons won against the Panthers 14-6 in 2019.
“Conference games every week will be a challenge. The conference is good and wide open this year,” Kay said. “We feel like we can compete with the best of them this year.”
Malad opens the season Aug. 28 against Lyman, Wyoming.
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated scores and schedules.