Deary High School
Conference: 1AD2 District 1-2 White Star League
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Darrah Eggers
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season (16th Overall at Deary)
Previous Experience: Four Seasons at Clearwater Valley
Record Last Year: 6-3
State Titles: 1993, 1995, 1997
RB/LB Jalen Kirk (Sr)
QB/DB Colten Heath (Sr)
OL/DLTanner Anderson (Sr)
RB/DB Parker Johnston (Sr)
OL/LB Zane Kinzer (Sr)
WR/DB Jayce Weinmann (Sr)
WR/DB James Lloyd (Sr)
OL/DL Eli Frazier (Jr)
OL/DL Olav Stanton (Jr)
Key Players lost from last year:
WR/LB Seth Winter
OL/DL Jesse Rudiger
Written by: Will Hoenike
When you look up Darrah Eggers on the Whitepine Joint School District webpage, you see a slash. Principal-slash-athletic director.
Well, it’s time to add another slash.
When successful head coach Doug Henderson stepped away from the team earlier this year to accept a different job, Eggers ultimately looked in the mirror to find Henderson’s replacement. So make that principal-slash-athletic director-slash- football coach. That’s a busy guy.
The good news for Deary fans comes in three forms – first, Eggers has 20 years of football coaching experience. This isn’t Ted Turner taking over the Atlanta Braves in 1977 on a whim with no baseball managerial experience, Eggers had previously coached football at Deary for 16 seasons and four seasons at Clearwater Valley in Kooskia before that. Secondly, he re-inherits a pretty solid program, located about 25 miles east of Moscow. The team won six games last season, reaching the 1A Division 2 state playoffs, and returns six of the team’s two-way starters from that team.
And third, in Eggers’ own words:
“We will run the same system that we have at Deary since the early ‘90s,” Eggers told IdahoSports.com. “The players are already familiar with the terminology, formations, etc.”
Translation: White Star League fans shouldn’t expect to see much of a change when the Mustangs take the field.
Eggers has nine players that have played valuable varsity minutes in past seasons, led by RB/LB Jalen Kirk. The two-way standout is one of the top 8-man players in Idaho and is primed for a big senior season in Deary. Fans need to look no further than last October’s matchup against a solid Lakeside team to see how much Kirk can change a game. In the Mustangs’ 50-6 win, Kirk rushed for 189 yards, collected another 105 receiving yards and accounted for five total touchdowns.
Kirk, obviously, can’t do it on his own. The team returns four players with varsity experience along the offensive and defensive fronts in Tanner Anderson, Zane Kinzer, Eli Frazier and Olav Stanton. The team also returns quarterback Colten Heath. An experienced quarterback and offensive line could make Kirk even more explosive this fall. Heath also has weapons (beyond Kirk) when it is time to throw the ball in senior Jayce Weinmann and senior James Loyd.
And this is a team that averaged 44 points per game last fall and topped 50 in each of its six wins.
In fact, Deary’s losses came to a 1A Division 1 rival (Genesee) and the two teams who ultimately played for the 1A Division 2 championship (Salmon River and Kendrick). There wasn’t much separating Deary from the top of the jungle gym last season.
The Mustangs were solid defensively in 2016 as well. The three teams listed above were the only three who managed to score over 16 points against Deary.
“Team speed at linebacker and defensive back really stands out to me.” Eggers said of his team’s defense.
In general, Eggers is justifiably excited for the upcoming season.
“The players have good attitudes and work ethic so far,” Eggers said. “Our senior leadership is very solid.”
One area the coaching staff is looking to shore up headed into the season opener on August 25 against Potlatch is continuing to shore up the team’s depth.
“We just want to continue to build on the success the program has had,” he explained. “Our main concern now is depth. We have 25 players out but only 8-10 have much experience.”
The Mustangs will be tested early with two of the team’s first three games against good 1A Division 1 opponents sandwiched around a game against White Star foe Mullan. Deary figures to be a strong contender for not only a Division 2 playoff spot but also a White Star League championship. A strong start, good health and continued improvement will be critical to the team’s chances as the season wears on. There are a lot of days between then and now and there are other teams in the White Star that will have a say in it, but it’s possible that Deary’s October 20 game at Kendrick could be for a league title.