BOISE, Idaho — High school football in the Gem State is just around the corner, in fact, it's starting earlier this season.
5A teams across the Southern Idaho Conference (SIC) are each play a week zero game, which means August 19 will be the first Friday of the 2022 football season.
KTVB is diving into our team previews, starting with the Borah Lions, a team who has a nice foundation developed following last season. Borah is hoping to take the next step in 2022.
Last season, head coach JQ Kenyon took the reigns of the Borah football team and boosted the program to a 5-5 record.
"It's like Christmas in August for us," Kenyon said. "Now we kind of have most the pieces put together and now it's just kind of trying to set that expectation - that bar - as high as we can and see if we can reach it."
For the returners, there's an air of confidence that last year served as the foundation for greatness yet to come.
Parker Rushton is a key returner, expected to rush for a ton of yards out of the Lions' backfield.
"We just got a lot of dudes and they're hype, they're excited. I mean, we came off a good season last year," Rushton said. "We're looking to repeat and we got the dudes to do it. We're feeling confident. We're just ready to ball out.
Last year, Rushton rumbled for 1,177 yards and 15 touchdowns on 231 carries.
"When you come back as the SIC's leading rusher, you kind of hope for the best," Kenyon said. "He's gotten bigger, faster, stronger. He's totally dedicated himself to football, so we're just excited to see what he can do."
The Lions also look to show some versatility in the passing attack. While they lost league-leading wide receiver Bradley Toth, they see it as an opportunity for third-year starting quarterback Corbin McCearney to expand his targets.
"We'll be spreading the ball around to all of our receivers and not just prioritizing one this year," McCearney said.
One of the most telling stats of last year - Borah was undefeated in games where it won the turnover battle. In 2022, there is an emphasis on not only taking care of the ball, but all the little things that go with it.
"Perfect repetition, make sure we know what we're doing, how to do it, make sure we do it right every time," Borah offensive lineman Jovari Beasley said.
There is no time to waste with kickoff against arch rival Capital on the horizon, but the Lions have already figured out some of the difficult details, like chemistry and leadership.
"It's a confident group right now," Kenyon said. "We've got this core nuclear group that essentially has been carving the pathway for what we need to do to try and make some noise this year. So, we're excited to see how far these leaders can take us."
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