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The Idaho 8-Man Football 3 Stars Awards (Championships)
The best and brightest from the 8-man game are recognized here
Published: 11/23/2021 2:31:59 PM

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Usually, it is three.  Last week, we did four.  This week, with two title games, its the Idaho 8-Man 2 Stars!  One "star" from each game (but, let's be honest, there were plenty of great performances in both games) and one honorable mention.

1A Division 1: Oakley over Raft River
Star - Payton Beck

The Hornets QB/DB opened the scoring with a long touchdown run and went on to toss four scoring passes in Oakley's Thursday night win.  He also picked off a pass on defense.  On a team loaded with weapons, Beck involved 'em all to help his team win a second consecutive state title.  (Honorable Mention: Seth Tracy, Raft River)

1A Division 2: Kendrick over Carey
Star - Ty Koepp

He completed eight passes for 153 yards and two scores and also rushed for 33 yards and two more scores in Kendrick's win over Carey.  It might've been one of his non-scores that was most impressive - evading pressure and creating something out of nothing, a long pass to get Kendrick inside the five, leading to its first touchdown.  (Honorable Mention: Marcus Richcreek, Carey)

District 4 filled both slots in the Division 1 title game and should get even tougher next year as Carey bumps up from Division 2 to Division 1 and Valley comes back down to Division 1 after spending the past couple of years in the 2A classification.  While those teams take turns beating up on each other in Snake River Conference play, one team appears to have early traction as a possible 2022 favorite - Butte County, from District 5/6's High Desert Conference.

Carey's departure from the Division 2 ranks could open things up a bit.  The Panthers have been a final four mainstay in the classification for the better part of the past decade.  But Kendrick seems primed to be in position to repeat.  Koepp is just a sophomore and already among the classification's top players.  Jagger Hewett will be back, as will Sawyer Hewett.  So will Wyatt Fitzmorris, Hutner Taylor, Jack Silflow, and Lane Clemenhagen.  Kendrick had just one senior - Maison Anderson - listed on its roster this fall.  Thirteen of head coach Zane Hobart's players this fall were either freshmen or sophomores.

Two seasons ago, Greenleaf Friends Academy returned to the field in Division 1 after a bit of a hiatus.  This fall, it was Meadows Valley making a return in Division 2.  Now, according to the IHSAA website, Cascade is looking for games to fill out a schedule this coming fall after not having enough bodies to field a team the past two years.  Getting the Ramblers back on the field in the Long Pin to go along with the Grizzlies and the Mountaineers would be the continuation of a good trend in District 3.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know in the comments!


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