Photo By Clayton Bunt - #17 Brendan Nelson
Written By: Sven Alskog
It may be a bit more of a youthful look for Lewis County on the football field this fall, however with that new-look comes mores speed, something which the Eagles hope to take advantage of to finish in one of the top two spots in the league standings.
Helping the cause out is the return of Brendan Nelson at running back and middle linebacker. Nelson sustained a serious knee injury during the second game of the season in 2018, derailing what had been high expectations for what the imposing presence could have done.
With Nelson back, running the football should not be much of a problem, which should help to ensure some long drives to keep the opposing defense on the field. It all starts with the added bulk that the running back has added in the offseason.
“Brendan Nelson made a commitment to getting himself back to full strength after his gruesome injury at the end of the Kamiah game last season. He has hit the weight room hard and it shows,” said head coach Monty Moddrell.
The Eagles will not have as much size up front as in the past, meaning they will need to get creative in order to maximize their potential, something which the coach thinks is possible with the speed on-hand.
“This years’ group is younger and faster than last season’s team. Our numbers are a bit down and as always at this level, if we can stay healthy, we will be competitive in our league.”
In a lot of ways, the confidence in the group stems from the type of work ethic that is consistently on display.
“We have a great group of young men who aren’t afraid to work hard and put in the extra effort. In this day and age, that is exciting in and of itself,” added Moddrell.
Jeret McFrederick will take control of the offense from the quarterback position while also playing a key role at outside linebacker. Dalton Davis is another linebacker and running back on offense who will see lots of action on the field.
Ty Hambly was mentioned as a freshman who could make an immediate impact.
With five seniors departing from a year ago, the task will be to mold the new team together to compete with teams like Kendrick and Deary for league supremacy.
“Every year it seems the challenge is to get a group of young men to believe in something greater than themselves and to build chemistry with one another. We had a great camp in the spring and I feel as though we have made tremendous strides towards our team goal of a league championship,” said Moddrell.
He also likes having the anchor in the middle of the defense back on the field at full strength.
“We are collectively faster than last year’s team and look to utilize that speed on the defensive side of the ball. Brendan Nelson has been a beast at middle linebacker for us and we do not expect anything less this season.”
One major addition off the field to the program this year comes within the coaching staff.
“I am so excited that we were able to convince Jared McIlvain to come back and join our staff. He graduated from Highland and has been playing for the LC Loggers for the last few years. He brings a wealth of knowledge about the game and an infectious enthusiasm. He will be a tremendous addition to our program,” said Moddrell.
Lewis County hosts Lapwai at Craigmont on August 30 for the first game of the 2019 season.