Council High School
Conference: 1AD2 Long Pin Conference
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Randy Nichols
Years as Head Coach: 1st Season
Previous Experience: 2 Years as Assistant at Council
Record Last Year: 0-5
State Titles: '67, '83, '84, '85, '92, '06
Sam Mahon, QB/CB, 11
Teagan Hill, TE/DE, 11
Chance Hackett, FB/LB, 11
Wesley Waddoups, OL/DL, 11
Daniel Jordan, TE/LB, 11
Brandon Mendez, OL/DL, 10
Key Players lost from last year:
Bonner Paradis, OL/DL
"He will be missed because he was what held the team together and we will miss his leadership and character," Coach Nichols
Photo By: Patty Theurer - #55 Brandon Mendez
Incoming impact players:
Gage Merritt, OL/DL, 10
Dawson Stanford, OL/DL, 9
Written By: Sven Alskog
Things are going to look very different once Council takes the football field this season.
Gone is the senior class of Bonner Paradis, Lance Nichols, Emmit Hileman and Brett Rosengrant, and a new head coach takes over the program in Randy Nichols after 18 years for previous coach Dan Shumway, including a state title in 2006.
While the departures of those pieces will make the new year a transition season in a lot of ways, there is plenty of reason for optimism still. This stems primarily around the fact that Council is expected to play a full varsity slate after only playing five total games a year ago, including two against opposing JV squads.
With the excitement level up, the challenge now will be putting a youthful roster in a position to succeed on a weekly basis, with no seniors on the football team this fall.
If this group can mesh together and get the program headed back in the right direction, things could look pretty good looking ahead towards 2019.
“It's a curse and a blessing. Not having the experience hurts, but this year is a building year and we won't be losing anyone for the following season. We are pretty raw, but the talent is there. So we are looking to build, and we as a staff are very excited about it,” said Nichols.
Finding offense was a struggle a year ago, but having quarterback Sam Mahon, tight ends Teagan Hill and Daniel Jordan, fullback Chance Hackett and linemen Wesley Waddoups and Brandon Mendez in place should help immensely.
“This year is a building year, so we will be bringing something new and different to the table for the boys, but having Mahon, Hackett and Waddoups will definitely help us at each level,” added Nichols.
The new coach wants to see improvement in ball security and overall execution.
As is the case for most every team in 1A football, each player will make large contributions on each side of the ball. Defense was a youthful group last season, so the hope is that after a year of trials and tribulations that the on-field product will see some improvement.
“Last year the boys were young and raw. They were playing against older, bigger, faster and stronger teams. They really took their lumps, but they never quit and never stopped fighting. Having that mentality will definitely help us,” said Nichols.
Understanding where to be is priority number one, as the emphasis will be on strong communication to avoid missed assignments.
Incoming freshman Dawson Stanford and sophomore Gage Merritt should see plenty of playing time on the defensive line for the Lumberjacks. Against the top flight rushing attacks in the Long Pin Conference such as Horseshoe Bend, Salmon River and Tri-Valley it will be essential that the young duo make an impact when they are on the field.
Depth can be a make or break thing for teams in the lower classifications, so Council hopes to be able to filtrate in some different guys throughout games to keep players a little bit fresher.
The Lumberjacks should have a good opportunity to see the progression the program has made this offseason right away, with a matchup that looks good on paper on the road at Notus to begin the season on August 24.