Head Coach: Keelan McCaffrey, 1st season
2017 Record: 9-3 (5-0 4A Great Basin Conference)
Playoffs: Lost to Skyline 40-14 in 4A state championship game
For the Minico Spartans, 2018 is all about ringing in the changes. Gone is 22-year head coach Tim Perrigot and gone is a class of 24 seniors who helped lead the program to its first ever state championship game appearance.
Head coach Keelan McCaffrey will take control of the Spartans. While many key pieces, including the team's starting quarterback, running back and No. 1 wide receiver, are gone, McCaffrey is confident in what Perrigot left behind for him.
"Sure, it's a new look and a new head coach, but our guys are still intact," McCaffrey said. "We're going to keep the Minico Spartan tradition alive."
Replacing quarterback John Perrigot (Tim's son) will be junior Connor Stocking, a player who has impressed McCaffrey by taking control of the offense already. Running backs Colter May and junior Rylan Chandler will get more carries after the departure of 4A All-Idaho player of the year Larry Vega. May doubles as a safety, while defensive end Mason Harwood, linebacker Kasen Jones and cornerback Francisco Paz return to stabilize the defensive side.
Minico will have its hands full trying to replace the talent that left, but Perrigot and the departing players left a lasting impression. Senior guard Jesus Ramirez said seeing where the senior class took the Spartans last year made this year's squad "want to be even better."
Better, of course, would mean a state championship.
"(Last year) just motivates us," Jones said. "The boys are ready to go. We didn't like second place. We were happy we were there, but we want it all."