Timberlake High School
Conference: Intermountain Conference
Head Coach: Roy Albertson
Years as Head Coach: 13th Season
Previous Experience: 29 years head coach at Dayton (WA), Kennewick (WA) and Chewelah (WA)
Record Last Year: 8-2
State Titles: None
Sr QB Ryan Starr
Sr RB/DB Gage Wells
Sr RB/DE Randy Duclos
Sr OL/DL Shawn Doran
Sr TE/DE Dan Smith
Sr OL/LB Andrew Hansen
Jr RB/DB Brandon Hausladan
Jr RB/LB Caleb Munsen
Returning Players with Honors:
Ryan Starr, 1st Team All-Intermountain League QB
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #2 Ryan Starr
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Written by: Will Hoenike (@willhoenike)
There probably comes a point in every summer in Spirit Lake, Idaho, where the question gets asked.
“Is this the year?”
In one of the most-remarkable and, for fans of Timberlake High School, frustrating streaks in any sport in the state, the question isn’t whether or not the Tigers will make the playoffs. Twelve straight berths in the Idaho 3A state playoffs under head coach Roy Albertson speaks for itself. That kind of extended stability and success deserves respect.
But that’s not what fans are asking.
Is this the year that Timberlake gets past District III?
The Tigers have seen their season end eleven consecutive years in the state playoffs at the hands of a District III for – either Fruitland (six times), Weiser (three times); Payette (once) or McCall-Donnelly (once). Four of the losses have come in the state semifinals, just one step short of the 3A state championship game.
So … is this the year?
Albertson and his staff will have to replace a highly-productive senior class that included conference MVP Steve Trantham, Offensive Player of the Year Daniel Buck and Defensive Player of the Year Bryan Mason.
But, before you write the Tigers off, consider this:
First-Team All-Intermountain League quarterback Ryan Starr returns for his senior season after being the trigger-man for an offense that scored over 400 points last season, an average of over 40 per game for a team that went 8-2 before being defeated by – you guessed it – Fruitland in the 3A quarterfinals.
And while Trantham, Buck and co. are all gone, Starr is hardly alone. Seniors Shawn Doran and Andrew Hansen return along the offensive front, while Gage Wells, Randy Duclos, Brandon Hausladen and Caleb Munsen all return as varsity letter-winners who will compete for playing time and carries at the running back position.
Senior Dan Smith figures to be a primary target in the short passing game, which the coaching staff hopes to see improve over last season.
Timberlake’s defense is expected to be young but fast. Smith and Duclos will anchor the defensive front with Clayton Rundgren and Brady Knowlan. The team’s back seven is deep, with Munsen, Wells, Hausladen and Ethan Bruse expected to be key contributors.
Community support around Spirit Lake hasn’t wavered, waiting to see its team finally punch through. After opening the season against four straight out-of-state opponents (including a team from Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada), the Tigers head on the road to take on arch-rival Lakeland on October 2. That begins the string of games that will determine whether or not this is the year.
A 13th straight appearance in the 3A state playoffs seems likely for the Tigers.
But, as for the bigger question?
Albertson and his staff knows that answer comes from within. It’s going to happen eventually. No reason it can’t be this year. We’ll all find out together.