MURTAUGH, Idaho The Murtaugh Red Devils football program has received a face lift with major changes with a new head coach and mindset.
This is the first year in four years that the Red Devils team is not co-opted with the Hansen Huskies.
The split hasn’t deferred numbers for Murtaugh, the program has actually grown and they seat about 20 on their roster.
The new team also comes with a new head coach in Todd Jensen. Jensen stepped into his role and it was full steam ahead.
“With defense we want to bring high risk, high reward is what we call it. We want to be very aggressive on defense and offensively we want to fly around and make plays. Get the excitement back here, like I said bring back the pride in the Red Devil. They’ve lost quite a few games in a row, I guess 26 games in a row and so trying to find that first win and moving forward,” Jensen said.
Through fundraisers and community involvement the team has been able to order new equipment, gear, clothes and the lone senior on the team represents the team’s feelings on their new coach.
“We’ve never had a coach like him. He’s gotten us a lot of new things, a lot of new gear. Pretty much everything I’m wearing is what he did for us and he’s just so nice to us and brings a lot of confidence to this team. We like him a lot,” Austin Smith said.
The players on this team are hungry to put their hard work to show. Having not won a game in three complete seasons there is no lack in motivation.
"Oh we've been wanting it for a long time. It's time to get it now. We've been doing it, our senior hasn't won a game in high school, I haven't won a game in high school, so it's time to start giving the underclassmen a winning team mentality," Guillermo Zavala said.
Another change, adapting a new motto that runs all the way through the football ranks to their youth teams.
"You know just belief in themselves, a lot of confidence within themselves. That's something we talk about all the time, trusting their teammates, treating them like a family and have a little bit of attitude. That's our logo this year as you'll see on the back of my shirt. We want to come forward with and we talked about it during our camp. As soon as the kids come up we come up as a whole football program this year. And that's going to be our huge emphasis, those three words this year," Jensen said.