Helena High and Capital Football Kick Off Fall Camp - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Helena High and Capital Football Kick Off Fall Camp

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The Helena Bengals were 10-2 in 2014 led by first year quarterback Jackson Thennis. His 27 combined touchdowns helped them get all the way to the state semis, but he wants to go farther in 2015.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself to not only be as good as I can be, but to win games," said Thennis. "I mean the ultimate goal is to be good enough to win enough games."

"The sky is the limit for him," said Bengals head coach Tony Arntson. "Jackson is a great leader, and that's where he starts. He is not about Jackson. He is about making the offense really, really good and giving us a chance to win games."

The Bengals had the top scoring defense in all of AA last season, giving up just under 14 points per contest. This year junior linebacker Kendall Johnson will take the reigns from Isaiah Cech, who graduated, and lead the defense after being All Conference despite playing only six games last season.

"He's a big time player," said Bengals senior safety Willem Morris. "He's more of a quite leader than Isaiah, but he also leads by example, and I think a lot of guys will be able to follow him into battle."

"We've had some senior kids again have some real good off seasons," said Arntson. "And we've got some junior kids that are going to push at those other three linebacker positions. We're probably going to play a lot of guys there."

On the other side of town the Capital Bruins will have a new head coach for the first time in 11 seasons as Kyle Mihelish takes over the program from Pat Murphy, and is starting with revamping the defense.

"We got about six or seven returners," said Mihelish. "Our defensive line is back. I like that. Trevor Larson is back. I think we'll be aggressive, and they'll run to the ball."

"I think some of our younger kids that started last year are more into it," said Bruins senior linebacker Trevor Larson. "They know more what they're doing, understand the defense."

On offense the Bruins have hole at quarterback, a position four players will be competing for, as Mihelish makes the change to a quick tempo offense.

"Our offensive line is coming together," said Mihelish. "I like our perimeter kids. We have some skilled kids in the backfield so I'm excited to see what they can do."

"We're going to try and spread the defense out," said Bruins senior running back Dan O'Malley. "Get quick short passes, then pound them low. Really spread out the defense and hit them where their weaknesses are."

A Helena area team hasn't won state championship since Capital did it in 2011. Both the Bruins and the Bengals hope that changes soon.

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