Players to Watch: Poston Butte
6 months ago Andrew Luberda 0
During the past few weeks I’ve visited five schools, including Poston Butte to preview the upcoming football season. In addition to interviewing players and coaches, I aim to identify who might be some of the top players on each team. Here’s a look at four Broncos to watch under the Friday Night Lights.
Larry Tripp (Sr), Running Back/Defensive Back – 5’8” 160
Tripp is one of three running backs that will share time in the Broncos’ offensive backfield this season, joining two others players named here later. As a junior, Tripp rushed for 289 and five touchdowns. He also threw for a touchdown on his only pass attempt of the season. The Broncos’ return their top three tacklers from a year ago, including Tripp, who finished 2016 with 71 tackles, tied for second on the team. Tripp is most valuable on defense, which explains part of the reason new Broncos’ head coach Dain Thompson wants to limit his carries on offense – to keep him fresh.
Tyler Thompson (Sr), Running Back/Linebacker – 5’9” 174
Thompson might be the Broncos’ best player, not just this season but for the last three. He suffered a knee injury last season that caused him to miss the last two games of the season. Saying he is fully healthy now, Thompson is ready to pick where he left off. He is the team’s leading returning tackler (82) and third leading rusher (483). He will share running back responsibilities in addition to leading the Broncos’ defense. Tyler is the son of Broncos’ new head coach Dain Thompson.
Brandon Sargent (Sr), Running Back – 5’9” 175
The Broncos’ are deep at running back, as evidenced by Sargent being the third member of the Broncos’ running back committee. He averaged almost six yards per carry as a junior and may receive the greater majority of the carries this season. Sargent rushed for a career-high 105 yards in a 49 – 6 victory against Glendale last season. He is one of five returning Broncos’ seniors to total at least 50 carries in 2016.
Connor McDonald (Sr), Quarterback – 5’10” 150
McDonald provides new head coach Dain Thompson with a luxury many coaches wish they had: a returning starter at the most important position on the field. McDonald threw for 10 touchdowns in 2016, but he was most effective as a runner, rushing for 491 yards, which was only bested by senior teammate Carter White’s 639 yards. With so many weapons lined up with him in the backfield, it’s hard to estimate McDonald’s production as a passer. One thing is for sure, McDonald’s experience will give him the confidence to succeed regardless of how Broncos’ coaches utilize his skills.