Gridiron Grind: Minico looks to power its way back to the top

“We know what we’re going to go into this year and we’re ready and prepared.”
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 1:51 PM MDT
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RUPERT, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Following an undefeated regular season and a Great Basin Conference Championship, the Minico Spartans ended the 2021 season getting upset in round 1 of the 4A playoffs by Vallieue.

“It was like meeting our match, we just weren’t ready,” said Head Coach Keelan McCaffrey. “We were young, we were juniors, and that’s ok.”

Those juniors are back for one more run, and the sour taste of last year’s playoff disappointment is lighting a fire.

“It sat in my mind all offseason,” said Senior RB Jafeth Bendele. “I feel like last year our team was getting a little tired, I think this year we’re ready to go. We know what we’re going to go into this year and we’re ready and prepared.”

One thing not being left behind in 2021? A physical ground attack that carried the Spartans.

“That’s what we were built on,” McCaffrey said. “We were built on running backs and our offensive line. So, we’re going to do the same thing like that.”

That plan works for Bendele, who is confident he and his fellow backs are up to the task.

“I just know that when I’m called upon, I’ll do it,” Bendele said. “Our other backs, Joe and JT, they’ll do great and Cason coming in, our Quarterback, I know he’ll do great too.”

A loaded senior class for the Spartans has McCaffrey believing his squad is ready to give fans a product that has improved across the board.

“Better offense, a better defense, great special teams and a very physical crew,” McCaffrey said. “These guys have worked really hard in the weight room. They’re exciting. They are exciting to watch at practice, they are a fun group.”

Confidence from the top is trickling down throughout the program.

“We’re running through them,” said Senior LB Nick Gibson, “We’re running through our conference and we’re not scared at all.”

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