Timberlake High School
Conference: 3A Intermountain League
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Head Coach: Roy Albertson
Years as Head Coach: 15th Season
Previous Experience: Chewelah (WA) 8 years
Kennewick (WA) 17 years
Dayton (WA) 4 years
Record Last Year: 3-7
State Titles: None
TE/DE Griffen Foote (Sr)
OL/DL Reece Peightal (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Foote, 2nd-Team All-IML
Key Players lost from last year:
IML MVP QB/DB Brandon Hausladen
IML Lineman of the Year Clayton Rundgren
RB Caleb Munson
WR/DB Ryan Stevens
LB Will McLemore
DL Zach Craven
Photo By: Jason Duchow - #11 Griffen Foote
Incoming impact players:
QB Joe Follini (Soph)
FB Jeremy McLemore (Soph)
Written by: Will Hoenike
Long-time high school football coach Roy Albertson knows a thing or two about winning. He also knows a thing or two about putting the pieces back together again. In 2017, he and his Timberlake Tigers have an opportunity to do both.
“We lost ten starters (from last season’s team),” Albertson told IdahoSports.com. “We will be playing a lot of players to get them experience.”
The result could be similar to 2016 for Tiger fans – a team that started 0-6 against a daunting schedule that included two 4A opponents, the eventual 2A state champion and two strong, out-of-state opponents before winning all three of its Intermountain League Games.
Yes, that’s a “glass-half-full” way to look at it. But, at the end of the day, Timberlake did win the IML and qualify for the 3A State Playoffs.
They’ll have to do it this season without several key pieces, including the IML MVP, QB Brandon Hausladen, and first-team All-IML running back Caleb Munson along with the league’s co-lineman of the Year, Clayton Rundgren.
So let’s take this opportunity to introduce you to this year’s Tiger team, a team that will look to continue its dominance over the rest of the IML.
Albertson will turn to a pair of sophomores to lead his backfield, quarterback Joe Follini and fullback Jeremy McLemore. The Tigers do have a couple of nice pieces back around the two sophomores in senior lineman Reese Peightal and senior tight end Griffen Foote. Foote was a second-team all-IML performer as a junior and should be a key player in Timberlake’s offense this fall.
It’s an offense that averaged nearly 35 points per game over the final three games of the season and, as mentioned above, is losing some good playmakers. So Foote and the sophomores will be asked to gel quickly in order to keep Timberlake in line for another IML title.
“We may start as many as six (sophomores) on offense and four on defense,” Albertson said, before singling out the team’s season-opening game against Frenchtown (MT) as a must-see game, “because it will show us how our young kids are doing.”
The good news for Albertson and his staff is that they have time to mold their young squad. Because the IML is just a four-team league, Timberlake will play five non-conference games before moving into league play.
But the non-conference schedule is again full of landmines. It again has two 4A opponents (home vs. Moscow and at neighboring rival Lakeland) and a road game against a Freeman (WA) team that scored over 300 points last season. Defending Idaho 2A state champ St. Maries comes to town along with the aforementioned Frenchtown team out of Montana. It will give Albertson plenty of time to evaluate and adjust his squad as it grows and improves before the team’s first conference game on October 6, at home, against Kellogg.
The Tigers will also get Priest River at home, playing just one road game in IML play (at Bonners Ferry), which should also be an advantage late in the season.
Three other teams in the IML hope that this is the year Timberlake finally falters after several years of dominating the league. But, given the track record of success that the program has had under Albertson, someone is going to have to come take the title away from the Tigers first.