Hansen High School
Conference: Sawtooth Conference West Division
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Jim Rife
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season (5th Overall)
Previous Experience: 4 Years as Assistant at Murtaugh
Record Last Year: Co-Op with Murtaugh
State Titles: None
5 Returners from Murtaugh Co-Op, led by:
Paxton Stimpson, QB, 11
Ethan Brizuela, Line, 12
Roger Hartgrave, Line, 11
Tuff Huizar, WR/DB, 10
Written by: Sven Alskog
After coming together for football in 2013, Hansen and Murtaugh struggled to find success on the gridiron, losing 26 games in a row prior to both schools splitting from the co-op after last season to have teams of their own at the 1AD2 ranks.
For those four years the schools played as Murtaugh, meaning when football returns to Hansen on September 1 against Lighthouse Christian it will be a homecoming of sorts.
Heading into 2017 there are 20 players on the roster for the Huskies and head man Jim Rife.
Of those 17, five are returners from the co-op with Murtaugh last year, meaning some experience is in place for what is otherwise literally, a pretty green team.
One year removed from gaining quality experience as the starting quarterback for Murtaugh, junior Paxton Stimpson will take charge for Hansen, giving Rife a nice returning option to lead the offense.
It is still relatively unknown how everything will come together for the Huskies this season, however the goal will be to remain competitive in games as long as possible, hopefully stringing together some wins along the way.
Rife is no stranger to being the man in charge for Hansen, having been at the patrols for the 2009 through 2012 seasons for the Huskies, prior to helping coach the Murtaugh co-op for the last four years.
Whenever a win does come across the board for Hansen it will be the first since August 31, 2012, ironically enough against Murtaugh.
Fans between the two schools are eager for the rivalry to be reborn, with the 2017 contest scheduled for September 22 at Murtaugh. The Red Devils are led by first year coach Todd Jensen.
Hansen has some winnable games on the schedule, so it will be all about how well the program transitions to life without Murtaugh. With all things factored in it should make things easier for each program, especially the Huskies, who now get to represent their own school and town for the first time in four years.