Mackay High School
Conference: Sawtooth Conference East Division
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Head Coach: Matt Tillotson
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: Assistant Coach at Mackay – 2 years
Record Last Year: 4-2 (JV Schedule)
State Titles: 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005
Incoming impact players:
Nathan Hampton, C, senior
Hayden Sievers, G, senior
Written by: Matt Harris
Friday nights are back at Mackay High School.
For the first time since the 2014 season, the Miners will field a full varsity squad and play a varsity schedule. It’s a welcome adjustment to playing mid-week football in a town that was a 1A power in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
“We’re just excited to have a varsity season,” said Matt Tillotson, head coach of the Miners.
The past two seasons, Mackay has play a junior varsity schedule as their student numbers have dwindled. In 2016, the Miners posted a 4-2 record in that JV schedule.
Expect players such as Dallin Green, Caleb Green, and Jacoda Whitworth to lead the way for the Miners. Tillotson added that seniors Nathan Hampton and Hayden Sievers are expected to have a big impact on the lines.
The coach also emphasized that there will be a learning curve for his team as they step back up to the varsity level.
“We need to improve on our speed and quickness and also being able to read backers,” said Tillotson.
The Miners return to the varsity ranks will begin Labor Day weekend when they host their Highway 93 counterparts to the north, the Challis Vikings, in their lone non-conference matchup. Play in the Sawtooth East Division then opens a week later when Mackay hosts defending conference champion North Gem on Sept. 8 before entering their bye week.
Conference play continues at home on Sept. 22 against Sho-Ban, followed by a trip southward to face the Rockland Bulldogs on Sept. 29. Mackay plays their final home game of the season on Oct. 6 at home against Butte County, a rivalry game in which Tillotson indicated is their must-see contest of the season. The Miners finish the regular season on the road at Watersprings on Oct. 13 and at Clark County on Oct. 20.
Several coaches in the Sawtooth East Division remarked that Mackay will not look like a team that just restarted their varsity program. If the Miners can find their groove quickly, they will certainly be in the mix for a state play-in berth in 2017.