Most Idaho high school football teams begin their seasons this weekend, and several area teams start with high hopes.
For Lake City, Post Falls and Sandpoint it’s the beginning of new eras. Bryce Erickson – son of former Seattle Seahawks, University of Idaho and Washington State coach Dennis Erickson – takes over as head coach at Lake City; former Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett starts at Post Falls; and George Yarno Jr. replaces Satini Puailoa at Sandpoint.
In openers Friday, Madison of Rexburg visits Lake City; Post Falls visits Sandpoint; Bonners Ferry goes to Lakeland; Kellogg is at St. Maries; Grangeville visits Moscow. Each start at 7.
In Saturday games, Timberlake visits Frenchtown (Montana); Coeur d’Alene is at northern California power Folsom; and Lewiston travels to Highland of Pocatello.
Erickson takes over for Van Troxel, who was LC’s first coach. In 22 seasons, Troxel led the Timberwolves to two state championships including a stretch of qualifying for the playoffs 16 consecutive years.
The younger Erickson resigned as quarterbacks coach at Idaho to take the LC job.
Bennett replaces Jeff Hinz, who passed away in July after a 2 ½-year battle with cancer. Bennett was an assistant coach last year before being promoted to interim coach when Hinz took a leave of absence last spring.
For Yarno it’s his first head coaching job. His father by the same name passed away this summer after succumbing to cancer.
Without question CdA has the toughest opener. The Vikings, picked second in the preseason poll released Wednesday, take on a team from the Sacramento area that annually sends players on to NCAA Division I schools.
Quarterback Jake Browning, for example, the University of Washington starter, led Folsom to a sectional championship in 2013.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper ranked Folsom, 14-1 last year, No. 1 in its area rankings. Folsom is 115-20 in 10 seasons under coach Kris Richardson.
“We will definitely know where we stand after our opener,” CdA coach Shawn Amos said.
CdA plans to bus to Redding, California on Friday and drive the rest of the way Saturday morning. The Viks will fly back on Sunday.
Amos said Folsom is paying for two charter buses and his players raised funds to pay for their airfares.
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