Written by Hailey Stewart
Although Aberdeen lost several varsity players to graduation, including a large portion of the defensive line, Head Coach Jeff Duffin looks forward to what his new recruits can bring to the table.
“We are smaller, but more athletic this year,” Duffin said.
With sophomore tight end Brody Beck and junior running back Conner Johnson joining the team, Duffin looks to build upon a strong offensive line and focus on a heavy run game this season.
Beck, Duffin said, surfaced as a “big threat” on both the offense and defense during summer practices.
Duffin’s goal for this year’s offense is to not only execute each game but to bring a level of physicality the Tigers will need to be a strong presence on the field this year.
“Execution is always key but we also have got to be more physical this year and
be able to win one-on-one battles,” Duffin said.
Aberdeen is stacked deep with backfield players this season. Senior quarterback Liev Mack, senior quarterback and safety Justus Bright, senior running back Carlos Cerna, junior running back Connor Johnson, senior running back Diego Ramirez, junior guard Jordan Villegas and senior running back Raymundo Samora will be rotating in backfield positions and carrying most of this season’s workload, Duffin said.
“They all bring a little something different to the table with their running styles and are all a threat,” Duffin said.
Instituting a 3-4 defense, Duffin says the Tigers’ defensive success will come from being physical in the trenches.
“Our style is to keep plays in front of us and make teams try to earn their way down the field,” Duffin said.
Duffin said he’ll rely heavily on his players in the box to stop the run in early down situations. Sophomore running back and middle linebacker Cale Adamson, Duffin said, has shown a lot of promise in the last year.
With many players in new positions, Duffin said he is hopeful they will bring a new sense of strength and athleticism to the defense.
After a short taste of victory with Aberdeen’s 2019 season opener against American Falls, the Tigers entered a four-game losing skid. Aberdeen then posted a three-game win streak against Marsin, Soda Springs and Malad. However, that streak came to an end in the first round of the 2019 playoffs with an 18-58 loss against North Fremont.
Aberdeen opens the season Aug. 28 once again against American Falls.
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated scores and schedules throughout the season.