Head Coach: Craig Tefft
Years as Head Coach: 8th Season
Previous Experience: Assistant at Kendrick
Assistant and Head Coach at Potlatch
Record Last Year: 5-5
State Titles: 2016
Tyler Lohman, WR/DB, 12
Caden Hall, RB/LB, 12
Dan Howard, TE/DL, 12
Kaden Hammond, QB/DB, 12
Derek Larson, RB/DB, 12
Coy Sands, WR/LB, 12
Nick Ozark, OL/DL, 12
Gage Norton, OL/DL, 12
Stephen Toland, OL/DL, 12
Ethan Hill, WR/DB, 11
Shaun Anderson, RB/DL, 11
Cooper Daniel, TE/LB, 11
Cade Truscott, RB/LB, 11
Brayden Brusseau, OL/DL, 11
Jesse Miller, OL/DL, 11
Chance Baird, WR/DB, 11
Blake Nemeth, WR/DB, 11
Brett Traiseter, WR/DB, 11
Shane Harpole, OL/DL, 11
Trace Huff, OL/DL, 11
Eli Gibson, RB/LB, 10
Delbert Lambson, OL/DL, 10
Returning Players with Honors:
Tyler Lohman, All-Conference
Coy Sands, All-Conference
Photo By: Michella Davenport - #13 Tyler Lohman
Incoming impact players:
Tyson Gauthier, OL/DL, 12
Aaron Pollock, WR/DB, 11
Steven Grant, WR/DB, 11
Written By: Will Hoenike
That’s one of the themes for the 2018 St. Maries Lumberjacks football team. Get faster and play faster.
“I think we gave the kids too much to understand last season and we played slow as a result,” 8th-year head coach Craig Tefft said. “We want to play fast and physical so we need to know what we are doing to give us a chance to be successful.”
Tefft’s program has qualified for the 2A state playoffs in each of the past six seasons, winning the 2016 state title, and has gathered 31 wins over the past four seasons. Tefft and his staff believe they have the skill and the depth to stay on the upward swing this fall.
“I am really excited to see how our senior class is going to lead this season,” Tefft noted. “We have several seniors who were part of the state title team and will get a chance to lead this season.”
A trio of seniors who figure to lead the Lumberjacks on offense are senior quarterback Kaden Hammond, senior receiver Tyler Lohman and senior receiver Coy Sands. In the team’s final game of the season, a playoff loss to West Side, the trio combined to connect nine times for 168 yards in the passing game and a touchdown. Lohman, who earned All-Central Idaho League honors, also had two interceptions and a fumble recovery on defense in that game and is considered one of the top players returning in the CIL.
The ‘Jacks have a host of upper classmen along the offensive line as well, including seniors Nick Ozark, Gage Norton, Tyson Gauthier and Stephen Toland.
“I believe we have a good chance of being balanced on offense,” Tefft said. “We have good depth in all position groups and feel like, over time, they will make each other better in practice, which we hope will translate to better play on the field.”
Tefft and his staff are working hard to help the team improve its pass defense. The Lumberjacks showed flashes last season, but surrendered 110 points over its final four games, something that will be addressed before the season opener.
“We struggled against teams that could throw the ball,” Tefft admitted. “We have to improve in pass coverage.”
Sands and senior Caden Hall figure to be key parts of the St. Maries defense at linebacker with Lohman, Hammond and Derek Larson providing senior leadership in the secondary. Juniors Aaron Pollack and Steven Grant are among those who could press for playing time in the defensive backfield.
Once again, the Lumberjacks will face the entire 3A Intermountain League in non-conference play. All four IML teams – Bonners Ferry, Kellogg, Priest River and Timberlake – appear on St. Maries’ schedule for the third consecutive season. Despite being from a smaller classification, St. Maries has won all eight of those games and 16 consecutive games overall against the IML, not losing to an IML team since 2013.
The marquee games, however, come later in the fall when CIL play begins. The fans in Grangeville, Orofino and St. Maries get amped for those games as the three teams duke it out for post-season positioning. Grangeville has the look of a state title contender this season, too, which will increase the size of the target on its back when the Lumberjacks roll into town on October 5.
Health and good bounces are always a factor over the course of a long football season. The CIL should be no exception in 2018. It will once again be a tough league but the Lumberjacks appear well-positioned to compete in the postseason for a seventh consecutive season.