It seems like it’s a battle that can’t be won. North Star teams, by and large, have struggled mightily at playoff time against District II teams (south of Moscow). 1A Division II Kootenai has broken through a couple of times, but 1A Division I Wallace has yet to break through.
Since Wallace joined the NSL in 2004, the Miners have been to the Division I state playoffs every year and knocked on the door for a state final appearance twice. But a District II team has been in the way. The Miners have been in the semifinals two of the last three years.
It remains to be seen if this is the year Wallace gets past that hurdle. This is abundantly clear, though. The Miners are heavily favored to runaway with the NSL title.
No team has the numbers or athletes that Wallace will put on the field. The battle will be for second between Kootenai, Clark Fork and Lakeside, and Kootenai appears to have the edge going into the season.
Wallace graduated some key and talented players, but what the other teams can’t match is the Miners’ depth.
“The big question is are we as good as we were last year,” Wallace coach Dave Rounds said. “At this time I’d have to say no. We lost some good ballplayers. But still we should be good.”