Potlatch High School
Conference: 1AD1 Whitepine League
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Pat Amos
Years as Head Coach: 8th Season
Previous Experience: 21 Years of Coaching Experience
Record Last Year: 3-5
QB/LB Cole Wallen (Sr)
TE/DE Zack Sheffler (Sr)
TE/DE Levi Weldy (Sr)
OL/DL Tristen Dudley (Soph)
OL/DL Layton Paul (Soph)
RB/DB Bailey Clark (Soph)
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Written by: Will Hoenike
It’s a refrain you’ve probably noticed if you’ve read a number of these 8-man write-ups here on IdahoSports.com – the 1A Division 1 White Pine League is good. Some would even call it scary-good.
“Tough, as usual,” Potlatch head coach Pat Amos said, describing his league, as he goes into his eighth season as the school’s head coach. “Great conference with some great programs, coaches and players.”
Probably not the greatest time to face a re-load situation, like the Loggers are this season. The team lost five, two-way contributors off of its eight-man squad, leaving a lot of positions open heading into the team’s season opener against the Deary Mustangs.
“This is such a great group of kids,” Amos told IdahoSports.com. “Our numbers are low and we are going to be young, but they are working hard and have a great attitude.”
Potlatch had success on offense last season, topping 40 points five times in eight contests. Senior Cole Wallen will shift to the quarterback position this season with two returning tight ends – seniors Zach Sheffler and Levi Weldy. The team also returns a pair of starting offensive linemen in sophomores Tristen Dudley and Layton Paul, giving Amos and his staff a good nucleus on offense. Sophomore running back Bailey Clark should also see an expanded role on offense this season.
Where the Loggers would like to see improvement is defensively. Yep, the team scored 40-plus in over half of its games. The flip side of that coin, however, is that Potlatch only held two teams under 50 – a big part of why the team went 3-5 despite solid offensive production.
Easier said than done, though, with foes like Prairie, Kamiah, Genesee and Troy (among others) on the schedule.
Sheffler returns to a starting role at defensive end opposite of Weldy. Dudley and Paul will also see time along the defensive front. Wallen returns as a linebacker for the Loggers’ defense and Clark is expected to start at safety. While no one is anticipating eight shutouts for the Loggers, the group will need to cut down on the 52 points per game allowed last season or any hopes of qualifying for the 1A Division 1 state playoffs will fade away.
The Loggers last tasted the postseason in 2011, falling to Wallace in the quarterfinals after an eight-win regular season. To break that mini-skid, the Loggers will have to come out blazing as the team will face Troy, Genesee and Kamiah in Weeks 2, 3 and 4.
If Potlatch can navigate those rough waters, the team closes with two of its final three games at home for a possible playoff push.