Troy High School
Conference: 1AD1 Whitepine League
Classification: 1A D1
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Head Coach: Toby Foster
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: Assistant Coach at THS, Youth Football
Record Last Year: 8-2
State Titles: 2010
Nick Powell, FB/LB (Sr)
Mitchell Sandquist, OL/DE (Sr)
Nic Griffin, RB/S (Sr)
Alex Chastain, TE/CB (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Sandquist – All-White Pine OL
Key Players lost from last year:
David Blum, Jonah Lay, Cameron Barnes, Chase Blazzard
Photo By: Kyle Riley - #35 Nick Powell
Incoming impact players:
Reece Sanderson, TE/DT (Soph)
Tommy Baier, C/NT (Soph)
Rhett Sandquist, OL/DE (Soph)
Grayson Foster, QB/LB (Soph)
Written by: Will Hoenike
Toby Foster isn’t your typical first-year head coach. The new boss at Troy High School was an assistant under former head coach Rob Bafus two years ago and has been running the youth football program for small towns like Troy, Deary, Kendrick and Genesee in Latah County, with the help of his wife, for the past several years.
So, yes, this will be the first time Foster assumes command of the high school varsity team. But he knows the community, he knows the history and, perhaps most importantly, he knows the players he is inheriting.
“I’m also the assistant (junior varsity) basketball coach at Troy,” Foster continued. “All this helps in having a lot of knowledge about the boys and what they can bring to the game.”
The Trojans won eight games in a loaded White Pine Conference in 2016, falling to eventual state champion Raft River in the 1A Division 1 playoffs. But Foster will not have the service of departed seniors Curtis Blum (co-White Pine Defensive Player of the Year), all-conference running back Jonah Lay, all-conference lineman Brandzen Atkinson, all-conference defensive back Cameron Barner or three-year starting quarterback Chase Blazzard.
The Trojans do have returning all-conference lineman Mitchell Sandquist, though. The senior suffered a serious knee injury during basketball during his junior season but he is expected to be back and at full health by the time the Trojans kick off the season on September 1st against nearby Washington foe, Garfield-Palouse. Foster says his senior leader did not sit idly by while recovering from his injury – Sandquist went to camp with his teammates over the summer, though he could not play, to support his teammates and learn as much as he could from the sidelines.
“The kid has a heart of gold,” Foster told IdahoSports.com about his senior lineman. “Great leader, is the president of the student body.”
Sandquist is expected to be joined upfront by sophomores Rhett Sandquist and Tommy Baier. That trio will look to protect first-year starting quarterback Grayson Foster, the coach’s son. The goal is to control the line of scrimmage and allow a group of talented running backs to do big damage on the ground. Senior fullback Nick Powell, who doubles as a linebacker, is another prominent team leader who Foster is counting on. The team will also have the services of senior Nic Griffin, a senior running back who was ineligible for varsity play last season after transferring from nearby Deary High School last fall. The powerful Powell and speedy Griffin give Troy a potentially-lethal one-two punch on the ground.
Foster says senior Alex Chastain, who coaches indicated had a tremendous summer of preparation, is also an option to see time in the backfield (though he is expected to spend most of his time at tight end) and sophomore TE/DL Reece Sanderson could get carries in the backfield as well.
The Trojans have all the necessary pieces to be strong defensively up the middle with Baier and both Sandquists up front, along with Powell at linebacker, Griffin at safety and Chastain at cornerback.
After opening the season against Garfield-Palouse, Troy embarks on a difficult, month-long stretch which sees the team go to reigning league champion Lapwai, come home to face rival Kendrick (Kendrick and Troy are separated by less than 12 miles along Highway 99), hit the road again to face White Pine favorite Genesee and then come home to play league rivals Potlatch and Prairie in consecutive weeks.
Foster and his primary assistant, Steven Gram, are anxious to see the potential of a talented sophomore class unfold in concert with solid senior leadership. In a tough White Pine Conference, any team is going to need health and development. The Trojans are no different and seem primed to be a tough “out” over the course of the season in District II.