Written By: Sven Alskog
After just two wins in three years, the four-win season of 2018 has spirits higher than in recent memory for the Potlatch football program.
Things turned around quick in the first year under new head coach Ryan Ball, who took over a program that had won just one game the season before, including being forced to forfeit the final two games of that year.
My how things have changed.
“I am most excited about the fact that we return basically the whole team from last year and add a few players who did not play the previous year, so I feel that we can put forth a competitive team this season. Last year at this time we were not even sure if we were going to have a varsity team,” said Ball.
One year later, Braden Morris is the only senior that has departed from the Loggers roster, meaning key pieces like Jerrod and Justin Nicholson and Kenon Brown all return to provide a good level of experience.
Both Nicholson’s excelled on the offensive side of the ball last year, jumping onto the scene in the Idaho 8-Man ranks with some of the larger individual game offensive outputs of the season. Having each back gives the coach confidence that the offense can keep humming and then some.
“I believe we are going to be much better this year because they have played a year in the new system and have learned the terminology and concepts, so now they can go and play instead of thinking about their assignments.”
Offensive linemen Dylan Andrews, Kelton Saad and Isaac Krasselt all return to lead the front line.
A major area of emphasis in the offseason on each side of the field was on playing reactionary football rather than thinking too much.
“To just play faster and with more aggression. Last year they had to do quite a bit of thinking on their assignments. This year they will be much more comfortable with the offense and defense,” added Ball.
Being in year number two in the same system on defense should play a big role in the success of the unit.
“Playing in the same system will improve their overall game speed and aggressiveness on the defensive side. But we will also be returning Kenon Brown at linebacker, who was injured early in the season, and he was our best defensive player. His presence will improve our defense,” said Ball.
Ty Svancara and Lars McDonald are both senior tight end and defensive end pieces that should see a surplus of opportunities this season as well.
There is plenty of optimism surrounding this group for Potlatch. With essentially the same roster as last year, expect the Loggers to make some noise within the White Pine League. The first game for Ball’s team will be on August 30 at Deary.