Lakeland High School
Conference: 4A Inland Empire League
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Head Coach: Tim Kiefer
Years as Head Coach: 16th Season
Previous Experience: Timberlake, Lewiston and Bonners Ferry
Record Last Year: 5-5
State Titles: 1988 and 1989
RB/DB Christian Suko (Sr)
QB Logan Siegford (Sr)
C/DE Austin Keller (Sr)
WR/DB Colton Garayalde (Sr)
RB/DE Dylan Norman (Sr)
RB/LB Wyatt Gatten (Sr)
RB/S Josh Brandt (Sr)
RB/LB Tanner Fuston (Sr)
OL/DL Jack Peed (Sr)
OL/DL Bradley Allen (Sr)
OL/DL Nathanael Dansereau (Sr)
OL/DL Porter Smithson (Sr)
OL/DL Lucas Gardner (Sr)
OL/DL Hunger Robinson (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Gatten, Norman, Brandt, Peed, Dansereau, Gardner
All-Inland Empire League
Key Players lost from last year:
Incoming impact players:
WR/DB Gage Gosh (Sr)
WR/DB Trey MacAurthur (Jr)
WR/DB Isaac MacAurthur (Jr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
The 2016 edition of the Lakeland Hawks won three of four games late in the regular season to lock up the 4A Inland Empire League crown before getting knocked out of the postseason at home by Blackfoot High in the quarterfinal round
The 2017 version of the squad aspires to do better.
Head coach Tim Kiefer, in his 16th season as the head man at Lakeland, has a good number of returning players this fall and he, along with his staff, will look to build off the good things the program has done in past years.
“We pride ourselves on running the ball,” Kiefer told The Preview. “But we have really emphasized the passing game this year. (Quarterback) Logan Siegford has been working hard and we’d like to see it pay off.”
Siegford will lead an offense that features the reigning IEL Offensive MVP in running back Wyatt Gatten, who rushed for over 700 yards and six scores last season, including a monster, 171-yard, three-score game against Timberlake. Joining them in the backfield will be seniors Dylan Norman, who also earned all-conference honors, and Josh Brandt. That duo will be led by an offensive line that features All-IEL honorees Jack Peed, Nathaneal Dansereau and Lucas Gardner.
An increased passing attack will likely mean that senior Gage Gosh and juniors Trey & Isaac MacAurther get their hands on the ball from the wide receiver position along with senior Colton Garayalde.
As a group, Lakeland’s offense averaged just over 25 points per game. The defense allowed just 18 per game, but 76 of the 187 total points allowed came in the final two weeks in losses to Clarkston (WA) and, then, Blackfoot in the postseason. Keifer would like to see his pass defense get stingier this fall to increase the team’s chances of making a move.
Leading the way defensively is Brandt. The senior safety was named the IEL’s Defensive Skill Player of the Year. He’ll have Garayalde and senior Christian Suko with him in the secondary along with junior Elijah Asher. Sophomores Ezra Grigg, Colin Bell and Brandon Furey will compete for playing time as well.
The linebacking corps look solid with Gatten, Tanner Fuston, Cage Hendry, Jake Pope and Connor Heim all competing for time on the field and the same group of players who will spearhead the Lakeland offensive line should see time on the defensive front as well.
The three-team 4A IEL is shaping up to be a battle this fall with two playoff spots on the line. Sandpoint returns a lot of skill and Moscow returns some beef along the lines. Taking care of the football and being able to stay healthy will be key for any of the three teams as they look to advance into November.
The Hawks open the campaign against a team of the same name – the District III 4A SIC’s Skyview Hawks – in Nampa on August 25. Then come three straight games against teams from neighboring Washington to help fill the non-conference schedule leading up to the league matchups against Moscow (10/6) and Sandpoint (10/13).
Lakeland has some good pieces of the puzzle to work with. If Kiefer and his staff get a little more balance from the offense and the defense continues to be tough, the Hawks should present a tough challenge to just about anyone in 2017.