Mullan High School
Conference: 1AD2 District 1-2 White Star League
Classification: 1A D2
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Head Coach: Stetson Spooner
Years as Head Coach: 7th Season
Previous Experience: OL/DL Coach at Flathead (MT) and Glacier (MT) HS
Record Last Year: 0-6
State Titles: 1983 and 1984
Dan Fritz (Off. Coordinator)
Ken Dykes (Special Teams)
QB/DE Gryphon Todd (Sr)
RB/LB Sheldon Trogden (Sr)
WR/LB Royal Barnes (Sr)
Slot/MLB Skye Galloway (Soph)
OL/DL Matt Pette (Soph)
WR/DB Caden Crandall (Soph)
Photo By: Sherry Leitz - #7 Gryphon Todd
Incoming impact players:
OL/DL Kash Truitt (Jr)
OL/DL Wyett King
TE/DE Riley Trogden (Fr)
Written by: Will Hoenike
It’s entirely possible there isn’t a football team and fan base that is more excited about its season-opener this fall than the one located in Mullan, Idaho.
Two years ago, there was no football at Mullan due to low player turnout. Last fall, after preparing all summer to play 8-man football, late roster changes forced the team to play a modified, shortened 6-man football season.
Now, the second-smallest school in Idaho to field a football team (Camas County in District IV is smaller) is ready to make its return in the 1A Division 2 White Star League.
“After playing 6-man (last season), our fans are going to get a great show that they are used to,” head coach Stetson Spooner said of the community that saw its school win back-to-back state titles in 1983 and 1984. “If our players show up and work hard, we can and will be very successful. We have some guys that will turn some heads.”
The Tigers aren’t flush with piles and piles of depth, but the team does have three seniors with varsity experience. QB/DE Gryphon Todd, RB/LB Sheldon Trogden and WR/LB Royal Barnes are all back for their final season of high school eligibility. Todd and Trogden, in fact, played as freshmen on Mullan’s last 8-man team, so they’ve been through a lot to get the program back to this point. That gives Spooner and his staff some veteran leadership going into the season.
The team was able to score some points in the 6-man game last season, averaging 35 points per game. It also ended on a strong note defensively when it held its final opponent, a 6-man squad from conference foe Timberline, to the fewest points allowed by Mullan all season. So there are reasons for optimism coming into the season, but still work to be done.
Mullan will have to sort out its offensive and defensive fronts. Junior Kash Truitt joins the team to give some much-needed size and strength and will be joined along the front by Wyett King and sophomore Matt Pette. Also able to help is TE/DE Riley Trogden, who is just a freshman but ready to contribute to the varsity team from day one. Sophomore Caden Crandall will also be asked to chip in on both offense (WR) and defense (DB).
But a lot of eyes around the Tiger football team will be on talented sophomore Skye Galloway. The 5-foot-8, 185-pounder has all kinds of potential and his continued growth and development as the team’s slot back on offense and middle linebacker on defense will be a key in Mullan’s success this fall.
Another key, as Spooner pointed out, is tackling.
“With low numbers and evolving rules on contact in practice, it is very difficult to get the live hitting drills we need,” Spooner admitted. “But our players and our coaches will think outside the box and work hard at improving in that area.”
The White Star League won’t roll out the red carpet for the Tigers. It features two of the top teams in the state in Deary and Kendrick – who both come to Mullan in week one and week three, respectively - along with old District I rivals Clark Fork and Lakeside (among others). It’s a challenging schedule for the best of teams with the deepest of rosters.
Mullan is still a work in progress, but continues to make strides as a program. Depth, like with any 8-man team in Idaho, is a factor. A key injury here or there can change the outlook for pretty much any small-school team in the state. But Spooner can’t hide his excitement about the upcoming season when the purple-and-white clad Tigers return to the 8-man ranks.
“The fact that, if they can reach their potential, they will blow their own minds,” Spooner said. “Making them realize what hard work and dedication can lead to.”