Head Coach: Toby Foster
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Record Last Year: 2-7
State Titles: 2010
Grayson Foster, RB/LB, 11
Reece Sanderson, FB/DL, 11
Rhett Sandquist, QB/DE, 11
Tommy Baier, OL/DL, 11
Key Players lost from last year:
Mitchell Sandquist, OL/DL
Nick Powell, FB/LB
Isaac Stone, TE/DB
Photo By: Mark Borth - #52 Reece Sanderson
Incoming impact players:
Boden DeMeerler, TE, 9
Written By: Will Hoenike
If you’re a fan of “Senior Night” festivities in high school football, go ahead and cross Troy High School off your list this fall.
That’s because Toby Foster’s team heads into fall camp with exactly zero seniors on its roster.
“What I will have is a very strong group of freshmen and juniors,” the second-year head coach told IdahoSports.com. “After (summer) camp, the freshmen were looking very promising.”
The incoming class is headlined by tight end Boden DeMeerler. The freshman is expected to contribute right away to a Trojan offense that started slow in 2017. The team was held to two touchdowns or less in each of its first four games last fall en route to an uncharacteristic 2-7 record, missing the 1A Division 1 playoffs (Troy showed improvement down the stretch, averaging nearly 30 points per game over the final five games). Foster believes a key component to improved results this fall will be a more balanced offense.
“The passing game,” Foster said of a key area he hopes to improve. “(We) have to clean it up and limit the turnovers so the team is not one-dimensional.”
Foster and his assistant coach, Ryan Ramos, have a good idea what the team’s backfield will look like. A trio of juniors, quarterback Rhett Sandquist, fullback Reece Sanderson and tailback Grayson Foster, will be looked at to lead the ground attack on offense behind an offensive line that will have to replace All-Conference lineman Mitchell Sandquist. Junior Tommy Baier will step into a prominent spot up front for the Trojans, but it will not be easy to replace the elder, departed Sandquist.
Trojan fans have a reason to be excited about the team’s defensive front this fall, with Sanderson (DT), Sandquist (DE) and Baier (DL) slated for prominent roles in front of Foster at linebacker. That will be important in a conference that features strong backs like Lapwai’s Tui Moliga, Clearwater Valley’s Bubba Summers, and the pair of Owen Anderson and Caleb McWilliams in Prairie, who will help lead a talented Prairie offense that will be replacing All-State running back Jacob Stubbers.
Troy has three very difficult road games before the month of September ends, visiting 1A Division 1 powerhouse Prairie (Sept. 7), perennial 1A Division 2 toughie Kendrick (Sept. 13) and a talented Lapwai team (Sept. 28), all before the calendar turns to October. The opening five weeks also includes Division 2 Kootenai and White Pine rival Kamiah at home. Keeping its collective head above water over the first month of the season will be important for a young team looking to bounce back from a rare “down” season.
Another reason it is important – the Trojans close the season with three of their final four at home, including a regular-season finale on home turf against nearby Genesee. The two towns, separated by less than 30 miles, could see their teams going toe to toe on October 26 with significant playoff ramifications.
The 1A Division 1 White Pine League is consistently deep and tough. Many expect Prairie to contend for a state title this fall, while coaches regularly point out that there are seldom “gimme games” in the White Pine, creating a playoff environment virtually every week for every team. The Trojans will have their fate in their own hands – quick maturation from the young players and a strong start against strong early competition and it would not be a surprise to see this team playing football in November.