Head Coach: Tim Kiefer
Years as Head Coach: 17th Season
Previous Experience: Timberlake
Record Last Year: 3-7
State Titles: 1988 and 1989
Cage Hendry, RB/LB, 12
Trey McArthur, WR/DB, 12
Curtis Johnson, TE/LB, 12
Returning Players with Honors:
Trey McArthur, All-IEL
Key Players lost from last year:
Logan Siegford, QB
Nathaneal Danserau, OT
Josh Brandt, RB
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #42 Jake Pope
Incoming impact players:
Brandon Furey, QB, 11
Ezra Grigg, RB, 11
Written By: Will Hoenike
When asked for a key to success, particularly on the offensive side of the football, in 2018, Lakeland Hawks head coach Tim Kiefer offered a succinct, one-word answer: Execution.
Now, maybe you remember the popular one-liner from former NFL head coach John McKay when, as the top boss of the struggling Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1970s, he was asked about his team’s execution during a particular game. His answer still finds its way into blooper reels to this day:
“I’m in favor of it,” McKay comically quipped to reporters.
That’s not what Kiefer had in mind when he brings up the same word in in 2018.
“We didn’t consistently execute through any stretch of the season,” Kiefer said, describing the Hawks’ 3-7 campaign last fall. “Some guys did early, some did late. But never all together.”
Finding consistency will be pivotal to the team’s fortunes this fall, which begins on September 1, across the state line in Spokane against Rogers High School.
“We are really young and I think we will be able to consistently improve, game by game, giving our best football at the end of the season,” Kiefer said.
That’s important because the Hawks are a member of the three-team 4A Inland Empire League. Not to suggest that the non-conference portion of the schedule doesn’t matter, but playoff spots are determined by the last two weeks of the season – the two IEL league games for Lakeland, Moscow and Sandpoint.
The Hawks will need to replace valuable starters Logan Siegford (QB), Josh Brandt (RB), Wyatt Gatten (RB) and Nathaneal Danserau (T) on offense, who were all seniors last season. Kiefer has some nice pieces in the program who will have the opportunity to step up this fall, starting with senior running back Cage Hendry and senior receiver Trey McArthur. Both had moments of greatness as juniors as McArthur earned All-IEL honors and had over 100 yards receiving against 4A semifinalist Skyview in the season opener. Hendry had a scoring run against Skyview as well as a two-touchdown performance in a win over East Valley (WA).
Junior Brandon Furey is first in line to replace Siegford at quarterback and, though he doesn’t have the game experience that Siegford did, he gives Kiefer confidence that Lakeland can throw the ball more efficiently than the team did at times in 2017. Junior Ezra Grigg should see time in the backfield alongside Hendry and senior Curtis Johnson is expected to be a factor on both sides of the ball for Lakeland, either at tight end on offense or linebacker on defense.
Six of Lakeland’s ten opponents in 2017 topped 30 points against the Hawks, so improved tackling will help improve the team’s fortunes.
A key thing to remember about Lakeland in 2017 is, despite the overall record, the team reached the 4A state playoffs, as it has done each season since 2013. So it is a program that is accustomed to playing meaningful, post-season football. Confidence should be high that the team can reach the playoffs again this fall.
To do so, Lakeland will have to do well against Sandpoint and Moscow. The Hawks are 11-4 in 4A IEL play since the opening kickoff of 2011, including league titles in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016.