Teton High School
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Head Coach: Brody Birch
Years as Head Coach: 12th Season
Previous Experience: 9 years as Assistant Coach at Teton
Record Last Year: 1-7
State Titles: 1999
Derek Birch, RB/LB, Senior
Austin Jacobs, WR/LB, Senior
Justin Wade, RB/DB, Senior
Freeman McCashland, QB/DB, Senior
Josiah Otto, TE/DE, Senior
Connor Marshal, LB/DB, Senior
Spencer Thompson, OL/LB, Senior
David Olsen, OL/LB, Senior
Christian Mangis, OL/DL, Senior
AJ Robinson, OL/DL, Senior
Russell Murdock, OL/DL, Senior
Kelton Kearlsy, TE/DL, Senior
Alex Jolley, OL/DL, Senior
Brendar Warburton, OL/DE, Junior
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Josh Phillips, RB/LB
Incoming “impact” players:
Dimitri Kraus, RB/DB, Junior
Aaron Villa, QB/WR/DB, Junior
Allan Moulton, OL/DL, Junior
Chad Larose, OL/DL, Junior
Coleby Hess, WR/DB, Junior
Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)
Entering 2014, despite the plethora of youth on the field, the Teton Redskins believed they could continue their momentum of two straight playoff appearances after eight seasons of misery.
Unfortunately for them, that misery returned in the form of a 1-7 overall season. However, things are looking much brighter in 2015.
Head coach Brody Birch is back for his 12th season at the helm of the program, his second stint overall. He knows the tough road ahead for his team purely on the conference they play in.
“Every game in the Mountain Rivers Conference will be a war,” he said.
He’s not the only one to say that either. Coaches from other schools’ in the conference have said the same thing, including Shelley’s Jake Monahan, Sugar-Salem’s Tyler Richins, and South Fremont’s Chad Hill. Birch pins their success in conference play on two factors:
“Execution and staying healthy,” he remarked.
Two very simple yet very different concepts that work together for, and sometimes against, a team. After losing several seniors prior to the 2014 season, the young Teton group struggled to find their groove. This year, the seasoned veterans hope they can take full advantage of Birch’s directive.
Returning on offense this season is a large group of skill position players, including senior quarterback Freeman McCashland. Joining him in the backfield will be seniors Derek Birch and Justin Wade. Junior Dimitri Kraus may see quality minutes at the position as well. On the outside, Teton brings back senior receiver Austin Jacobs, who will work alongside incoming juniors Aaron Villa and Coleby Hess. Senior tight ends Josiah Otto and Kelton Kearlsy look to effectively execute Teton’s primary Wing-T offense.
The strength for the Redskins lies in the offensive line, as several returning starters are back with experienced backups in place too. Senior lineman Spencer Thompson will anchor the line along with fellow seniors David Olsen, Christian Mangis, AJ Robinson, Russell Murdock, and Alex Jolley. Juniors Brendan Warburton, Allan Moulton, and Chad Larose will be in the mix as well. Clearly, availability of bodies on the line will not be a problem.
Even with that luxury, Birch knows there is work to be done to refine his offense.
“We want to be able to run the ball better and protect our quarterback better in the passing game,” he said. “But we bring back a lot of experience and speed.”
Defensively, many of the same players you’ll see on offense will also make an appearance on defense. On the line, the group of Otto, Mangis, Robinson, Murdock, Kearlsy, Jolley, Warburton, Moulton, and Larose will try to wreak havoc in their 3-4 defensive scheme. Anchoring the linebacking core will be Birch, Jacobs, Olsen, and senior Conner Marshal. In the secondary, McCashland, Wade, Kraus, Villa, and Hess will look to lock down on the outside.
“We bring back a lot of physicality, experience, and depth at the defensive line and linebacker positions,” Birch said. “We do need to improve our tackling from last season though.”
Teton brings back a solid group for 2015 that is hungry to take that next step – or couple of steps – and improve over last year’s poor showing.
The Redskins open up the season on the road in a border battle against cross-mountain rival Jackson, Wyoming. Teton then gets an early bye week before traveling to Bear Lake and Salmon. Their first home game isn’t until the last week of September against conference-foe South Fremont on the 25th. But, they only have one road game from that point on. The Redskins will finish the season with home dates against North Fremont, Snake River, and Sugar-Salem with a trip to Shelley sandwiched in on October 9th.
In winning and losing, Birch knows of the valuable experience it is to be a part of something bigger. He hopes that his team can learn in many different ways this season.
“We have great kids at Teton,” he said. “I love working with young men and helping them experience the life lessons that come from playing football.”