MERIDIAN, Idaho — Few teams in the state have taken care of business the way Mountain View High School has over the last five years.
Since 2014, they've won nearly 84% of their games.
In 2016, the Mavericks won it all.
But for the last two seasons, they've struggled in the 5A state semi-finals, ultimately coming up short of winning a second state championship.
"I think about those two loses in the semi-finals," senior wide receiver K.J. Lynch said. "I just think about that every day."
While the sting of those loses continues to haunt them, 13th-year head coach Judd Benedict says their ultimate goal isn't necessarily centered around wins and losses.
"We just want our kids to play to the level that we know they can play," Benedict said. "We're hoping that takes care of itself."
This season, the Mavericks return one of the more experienced defensive units in the 5A SIC, returning at least two starters on every level.
Seniors Kaden Thomas and Jason Wells, a 2018 second-team all-conference linebacker, will anchor the defense, along with senior Keaton Horn, who returns to the mix after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.
Lynch will help lead a new set of pass-catchers like Colby Pugh, Caden Chan, and Seth Jones, while Brox Barrus will play on both sides of the ball.
One name to keep an eye on this season is sophomore running back Layton Smithson, who joins varsity this year after a stellar freshman season.
"He shows veteran capability already," Barrus said of Smithson. "His speed is just amazing."
"He's got really good wheels. He's really athletic, so we can do some really fun stuff with him on the perimeter and get him the ball out of the backfield," Benedict added.
As for who will start at quarterback, junior Jake Farris, who played backup for former QB Noah Bryant, is the front runner.
But with two weeks until the season opener, there's still plenty of time for that to change.
- Joey Elwell (TE - first team)
- Dylan Martinez (LB - first team)
- Noah Bryant (QB, P - honorable mention)
- Camille Masaad (OL - second team)
- Kevin Eldredge (OL - first team)
- Blake Jablonski (WR - 1st team)
- Ryan Halford (OL - honorable mention)
- Jaymon Barrus (1st team)
- Van Goyen (DL - first team)
- Alex Shelton (DB - second team)
- Jaren Tilden (DL - honorable mention)
- K.J. Lynch (DB - first team, WR - honorable mention)
- Jason Wells (LB - second team)
- Bronx Barrus (DB - honorable mention)
8/31 at Timberline - 11 a.m.
9/6 vs. Rocky Mountain - 7 p.m.
9/13 at Capital - 7 p.m.
9/20 vs. Boise - 7 p.m.
9/27 at Eagle - 7 p.m.
10/3 at Skyview - 7 p.m.
10/4 vs. Borah - 7 p.m.
10/11 vs. Centennial - 7 p.m.
10/25 at Meridian - 7 p.m.
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