A year after Cascade Christian High School went undefeated to win the 1A state championship, not much has changed for the Cougars.
They still have the same coaching staff, they are running the same playbook and they are still expecting a successful season.
But a couple things are new.
They lost their starting quarterback, both leading rushers and leading receiver Mason Tobeck (who is now at Utah State on a football scholarship), all to graduation.
Those vacancies are tough to fill, and the Cougars know that they have to do a lot to overcome the loss of those players, but they do have a couple of pieces in play that could help.
The first is Jared Flattum, a senior offensive and defensive lineman who is expected to help anchor both sides of the trenches. He was on the championship team last season and understands what it takes to get there again.
The second piece that should help the Cougars overcome the losses of former players is Jared’s father, offensive coordinator Brian Flattum.
Brian has been coaching at Cascade Christian since 2003. He became the offensive coordinator in 2005, and has helped head coach Randy Davis lead the Cougars to two state titles in the last five years.
Both Jared and Brian understand their roles on and off the gridiron.
“On the football field he yells at me as much as anyone else,” Jared said with a smile.
But Brian said that he actually might yell at him more, because he knows that he can get away with it.
“The great thing about Jared is that he is honest,” Brian said. “If I go too far with yelling him, he’ll come up to me and say ‘Hey, that was too much.”
At the Flattum home, it’s a bit different. Brian tries not to talk about football too much with Jared at home. But Jared says that it’s helpful to have his offensive coordinator always nearby.
“Sometimes I do have football questions and I can just ask him right there,” Jared said. “But we do try to stay away from football at home most of the time.”
Jared isn’t the largest lineman, as standing 5’10” and 215 pounds, but he makes up with it with intelligence.
“He has a really high football IQ,” Brian said. “We’re not always talking about Cougar football, but we do talk about football a lot.”
The Flattums have similar goals for the upcoming season.
“We want to always look competitive,” Brian said. “There are a lot of really talented 1A football teams out there.”
“Play with each other as long as possible,” Jared said. “And hopefully that means the title game.”