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The Idaho 8-Man Football 3 Stars Awards (Week 4)
The best individual performances in the 8-man ranks last week
Published: 9/20/2021 1:11:59 PM

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Something that first-time readers of the Idaho8Man “3 Stars” should know: there’s no magic criteria that automatically means Player X will be honored. It’s a bit of an intentional floating target – the goal is to recognize many kids and teams, not just a few.

If it was just a stat-driven thing, then Brody Hasslestrom’s 299 yards and 6 touchdowns on Friday night would have made him a lock. Probably same for Clearwater Valley’s Dylan Pickering who not only had 270 rushing yards, but also had five sacks. Both players had incredible nights.

But this week’s winners all had massive performances, not just statistically, in crucial games for their respective teams:

1. Seth Tracy, Raft River
The Trojans like to run the ball. So, naturally, it’s a receiver who had 145 yards receiving and two scores who gets the nod in Raft River’s victory over fellow 1A Division 1 power Butte County on Friday. Tracy also had an interception and six tackles.

2. Terrell Ellenwood-Jones, Lapwai
The Wildcats were playing without standout quarterback Titus Yearout against rival Kamiah in a game that will have implications down the road as playoffs draw nearer. Ellenwood-Jones responded with 177 rushing yards, 36 passing yards, and three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) in Lapwai’s win over the Kubs.

3. Ethan Roland, Castleford
The Wolves and their opponent, Murtaugh, both came into the game 3-0. Thanks to Roland’s 292 total yards (120 passing, 172 rushing) and three scores (two rushing, one passing), Castleford moved to 4-0 overall with a 52-22 win.

Honorable Mention
Brody Hasselstrom (Prairie)
Dylan Pickering (Clearwater Valley)
Luke Trogden (Mullan/St. Regis)
Cy Wareham (Genesee)
Gage Crow (Lewis County)
Connor Simpson (Carey)
Willis Williamson (Kamiah)
Jack Driskill (Logos)
Josh Gipe (Council)
Adrian Miramontes (Wilder)
Carter Sanroman (Clark Fork)
Dawson Kramer (Camas County)
Cody Power (Dietrich)
Cesar Aburto (Murtaugh)
Dallin Draper (Grace)
Jrew Plocher (Watersprings)
Izack McNeal (Potlatch)

We’re hoping to see Meadows Valley find its way into the 3 Stars report in its first season of varsity football in over a decade. According to head coach Jared McIlvain, the earliest that could happen would be two weeks, when the Mountaineers play a mid-week road contest at Lewis County. McIlvain says COVID issues have severely limited his team recently and they were forced to cancel Friday’s game against Cove (Oregon).

Plenty of kids listed above would love the opportunity to play football at the college level. It can be hard to get the attention of college coaches when you play off the beaten path (or, in this instance, at the 8-man level). One hurdle high school coaches sometimes have to consider is walking the line between giving the top kids a few extra carries and snaps versus not appearing to run up the score on an overmatched opponent. An example – Adam Ball of Mullan/St. Regis. After sharing league MVP honors and earning second-team All-State accolades last fall, Ball had three carries in Friday’s win over Wallace. Three. Head coach Stetson Spooner has to balance what’s best for Ball (maybe a few extra carries) and what’s best for the rest of the Tiger program (extra playing time for younger players). Fortunately for Spooner, Ball is on enough radars after a strong summer in various football camps that limiting his carries is unlikely to cause any missed opportunities. 

Also fortunate for Spooner – Ball has been the consummate team-first player, leading the celebrations for the achievements of his teammates, including his brother, Caleb, the team’s starting quarterback.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!


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