Wallace High School
Conference: 1AD1 Whitepine League
Classification: 1A D1
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Head Coach: Jared Young
Years as Head Coach: 3rd Season
Previous Experience: 2 years Defensive Coordinator, Wallace HS
2 years Defensive Coordinator, Powder Valley (OR) HS
Record Last Year: 3-5
State Titles: None
RB/DB Jaden Dimitroff (Sr)
RB/S Layton Gallagher (Sr)
FB/DE Zayne Hunter (Sr)
WR/LB Matt Farkas (Sr)
C/DE Hunter Gust (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Dimitroff – 2nd-team All-White Pine League
Key Players lost from last year:
G/NT Alex Poland, 2nd Team All-White Pine League
OL/DE Derek Slater, led team in sacks
WR Stephen Dellinger, led team in receiving last season
Photo By: Mark Borth - #32 Jaden Dimitroff
Incoming impact players:
QB Erik Brackebusch (Jr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
If you’ve followed 8-man football or IdahoSports.com for any length of time, you likely already know that the 1A Division 1 White Pine League is a gauntlet for its teams. For years, it was a District II league but, last season, the league added District I Wallace to the mix.
The Miners, long a solid program from a small town east of Coeur d’Alene along Interstate 90, started the season with three conference wins in four games before running into that gauntlet to end the season. Still, the Miners were in the mix for a playoff spot right down to the final days of the season, something that head coach Jared Young and his staff can use to build on in 2017.
The 3-1 start and the 0-4 finish were basically a tale of two seasons in Wallace, as the Miners out-scored the opposition, 192-104, over the first four weeks before being outscored, 212-40, to close the campaign. Of course, those four games were against Prairie, Troy and Lapwai – the top three teams in the conference – along with a solid Genesee team. A whole lot of 1A teams would not have fared any better.
So this season, it’s time to build off the good from 2016 and learn from the bad. And Young has some nice players back to help accelerate the growth.
It starts with senior running back Jaden Dimitroff, who rushed for over 1,000 yards as a junior. He’s part of a deep and talented backfield which includes seniors Layton Gallagher and Zayne Hunter. Those three will help ease the transition for junior quarterback Erik Brackebusch, who will be a first-time varsity starter this fall.
“We will be strong in the skill positions and hope to take advantage of that in our passing game,” Young told IdahoSports.com. “Erik Brackebusch will look to lead the attack at quarterback, (he) has good footwork and a solid arm and we have a good set of receivers.”
The top pass-catching threat for Wallace is senior Matt Farkas, who doubles as one of the team’s linebackers on defense. Young also says Dimitroff can contribute to the offense as a pass-catcher as well, not just a ball-carrier.
The Miners will have to re-tool the offensive (and defensive) line with the graduation of Alex Poland and Derek Slater. Center Hunter Gust, a senior, returns to anchor the group that is pivotal to the success of virtually any football team at any level.
“We need to continue to improve on the offensive line and give our QB time to throw,” Young continued. “As always, we need to stay mentally-tough and battle adversity, take care of the center/quarterback exchange and win the turnover battle.”
Defensively, Farkas at linebacker will be surrounded by Gust and Hunter along the defensive line, Dimitroff in the secondary and Gallagher at safety.
“We will need to continue to work on our tackling, beating blocks and forcing third-and-long,” Young said. “(We) need to hit our blitzes and pressure, pressure, pressure.”
The Miners will start the season with a fun contest on September 2nd. That’s when they’ll meet the Clearwater Valley Rams in the middle, so to speak, in Moscow for a tilt under the roof at the Kibbie Dome. They’ll be one of the first teams to play on the brand-new turf used by the Idaho Vandals football team. The game is scheduled to be webcast, live and free, to the entire world on IdahoSports.com.
The White Pine appears as deep as ever this season, so it is hard to point to a team and say, yes, there’s the team to beat. Wallace may not be the team to beat in the White Pine this season, not with each of the four teams from the top of the league mentioned above (Lapwai, Prairie, Troy and Genesee) returning key contributors, but the Miners certainly have the look of a team that will be in the mix for a playoff spot.
The town of Wallace, though still seeking its first official state football title, isn’t new to the idea of having a good football team to watch each week. The Miners should represent the community well this fall. If the team can stay healthy and continue to progress the way Young thinks it can, it’s a team that has a very real shot to be playing meaningful football in November.