Photo By Wes Turner - #6 Jovan Sowell
Written by Zack Kellogg
The 2019 season ended for the Century Diamondbacks in one of the most electrifying games of the season: a back and forth battle with Nampa High School in Holt Arena.
Unfortunately for Century, the final score saw them on the losing side and their season ending at the hands of the Bulldogs.
Coming into 2020, the challenge is to extend the postseason run while looking for new faces to step to the task.
Nathan Manning graduated after earning Conference Player of the Year before walking on at Arizona State at quarterback. One of his best weapons, receiver Andrew Gunter, went to the Bengals at Idaho State. Gunter was an all-state first team his senior year as one of the best wideouts in Idaho.
The Diamondback defense graduated arguably their best defensive lineman in D’Qua Lang, who finished as a member of the all-state second team.
Coming into this season, the focus on the team’s success will hinge on the offense’s success, head coach Travis Hobson said.
“Controlling the football and keeping the defense off the field is our main priority. We will be more balanced than previous years and should allow us to control the game tempo better,” Hobson said. “We’re a balanced offense this season. We have an experienced offensive line and very deep in the skills positions. We’ll need to rely on the run while we’re settling in on quarterbacks.”
While the Diamondbacks have relied on a run-heavy offense in the past, a balanced attack is in the works for 2020, allowing Century’s new signal caller to feel comfortable airing it out.
It appears that new quarterback will be junior Bruin Fleischmann, helped by a retooled but still experienced offensive line at his disposal and explosive running backs to support.
“The offense will rely on the guys up front. Titan Fleischmann, Jaxsen Tuia and Campbell Hicks will return on the line and anchor the entire offensive unit,” Hobson said. “Center Jaxen Tuia has had a great offseason and looks every bit the part of a Saturday player. Drew Roberts and Tae Lang both have made major physical improvements and will be contributors in a deep running backfield.”
With the defense returning nine members with starting experience, the scheme is to remain the same with some slight tweaks to fit the skillset of the handful of newcomers.
“We are going to rely on the player experience level and let second-year starters go out and be athletes. For our defensive players to be successful, they need to get out of the gates fast and play physically without having to think too much,” Hobson said. “Easton Millward and Sterling Sutton will be the recognizable names and faces at linebacker. The entire secondary returns with Brayden Wight, Jonah Sowell and Myles Gifford and a host of new names and faces that are fighting for jobs. Up front, Marcus Lee, Gerardo Duran and Kyle Kassman return in the four-man front. Again, varsity experience and a restful offseason will be big factors for us.”
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated Century scores and schedules throughout the season.