Timberlake will continue its dominance this year.
The Tigers have captured eight straight Intermountain League championships and qualified for the state playoffs for 10 consecutive years.
And coach Roy Albertson’s 12th team should be similar to recent teams.
Timberlake had high hopes for advancing further in the postseason last year, but the loss of four two-way starters dug into its depth.
“At this level, if you lose people you’re losing somebody for two positions,” Albertson said.
Timberlake returns senior Daniel Buck, the IML’s defensive player of the year at linebacker and a starter at running back. The Tigers feature the Mason twins – er, towers – on the right side of their offensive line. Bryan Mason is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds and was the league’s lineman of the year last season. Gregg Mason (6-4, 230) was lost in the second week to a broken hip sustained when he was running a 20-yard sprint.
“This could be one of the best lines we’ve ever had,” Albertson said.
Kellogg coach Tyrel Hendrix enters his third year as head coach as optimistic as ever.
“We will be more competitive than we have the past two seasons,” Hendrix said.
The top two teams advance to the state playoffs.
Kellogg returns quarterback/defensive back James Red along with five other starters. Hendrix is high on his skill positions but says his offensive line will be inexperienced.
Young and younger
That best describes Priest River and Bonners Ferry.
Priest River returns three starters and Bonners Ferry brings back one.
Spartans coach Shane Douglas will start three sophomores on offense including a freshman lineman. Half of his turnout of 48 are freshmen.
“We’re striving to get better every day,” Douglas said. “It’s not that they’re not good. They’re just new.”
Bonners Ferry coach Ed DePriest has no idea how his team will fare.
“It’s very hard to tell at this time,” DePriest said.
“We have some kids who have the potential to develop into playmakers. Our lack of depth and ability to stay healthy will determine how competitive we will be. If the young players can stay healthy and grow we have the potential to be competitive.”
|1. Timberlake||3. Priest River|
|2. Kellogg||Bonners Ferry|