HANSEN, ID (KMVT/KSVT) For the first time in four years football has returned to Hansen.
Since the 2015 season the Huskies have paired with Murtaugh in a co-op to play football.
Jim Rife was the head coach of the Hansen program for four years leading up to the merge, followed by continuing to coach at Murtaugh for four years and is excited to bring the program back to home turf during his ninth season.
“You know what, I'm excited about it. There's a lot of these kids- well none of these kids we have this year were for four years in co-oped, they haven't played for Hansen. I mean it was played for Murtaugh. Now they are going to be wearing green, and playing for their own school on Friday nights," Coach Rife said.
A small school, playing in a small conference the team currently lists 17 on the active roster and the coaching staff is hoping with school starting that numbers will increase.
Five returners from the co-op team will wear Huskie green and white including junior starting quarterback Paxton Stimpson. Looking to continue on in re-starting the Hansen football legacy, he’s grateful that the program is back.
"To go over to Murtaugh it took a lot of preparation. You'd have to plan out, where you were going to get your pads, and how fast you can get them and you have to count all of your stuff. You only have like five minutes to do that and get on the bus. And after practice it sucked because you had to sit on the bus for 20 minutes before you got back and could go home and stuff and study. So it was a longer day," Stimpson said.
Six months ago the administration decided to welcome the program back, otherwise the co-oped team would have to bump up from a 1A D3 conference to a 2A conference.
The booster club has been helpful hosting fundraisers, the community is in support of the boys as well as other programs from around the area. Coach Rife told me that everything is in place, equipment is ordered now it’s just time to play football.
“We haven’t really set any team goals or anything like that. As far as coaches talking and stuff like that. You know what being competitive week in and week out, that’s going to be a huge goal for us. Like I’ve said we have some senior kids, but senior kids who haven’t played. It’s more like I’ve got a group of freshmen out on the field when it comes to experience. We will start with small goals, and small goals is to be competitive and we will see where it takes us,” Rife said.