Head Coach: Stetson Spooner
Years as Head Coach: 8th Season
Previous Experience: Assistant at Flathead (MT)
Assistant at Glacier (MT)
Record Last Year: 1-6
State Titles: 1983 and 1984
Jesse Allan (St. Regis)
Dan Fritz (Mullan)
Joe Morris, QB, 12
Kash Truitt, OL/DL, 12
JD Booker, OL/DL, 12
Chandler Hollins, LB, 12
Skye Gallaway, WR/DB, 11
Ian Farris, DB, 11
Samuel Hess, DB, 11
Matt Peite, DL, 11
Riley Trogden, TE/LB, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Skye Gallaway, Second Team All-State
Key Players lost from last year:
Gryphon Todd, QB
Photo By: Sherry Leitz - #1 Skye Gallaway
Incoming impact players:
Luke Trogden, LB/FB, 9
Adam Ball, LB/RB, 9
Written By: Will Hoenike
Two small towns, separated by approximately forty miles and a state line, are coming together as one in 2018.
Mullan (Idaho) and St. Regis (Montana) are forming a unique cooperative agreement on the football field this fall, kicking off the season in St. Regis on August 24 when Timberline (Weippe) makes the roughly four-hour journey across state lines for the season opener. The move across state lines is not unprecedented, as Clark County from District 6 joined with nearby Lima, MT, to form a team at one point. For the two sides, the benefit is obvious.
“Honestly, just being able to compete without the lingering fear of forfeiting games due to one injury,” said Mullan head coach Stetson Spooner. “Both St. Regis and Mullan schools and communities are excited for the challenge of competing and the opportunity for our towns’ kids to be able to play the greatest game on Earth.”
The two sides have both struggled in recent years to field a full roster. Mullan, in fact, played a JV-only, six-man schedule two seasons ago after not fielding a team due to low numbers the season before that. Spooner said he expected between 14 and 18 kids to turn out, which leads to another obvious advantage going into the season.
“I can’t speak for Coach (Jesse) Allan’s crew from St. Regis but, for us, it is simply one thing,” Spooner noted. “Tackling. Numbers have hurt us with being able to hit and get physical during the week and keep everyone healthy.”
Allan, the head coach at St. Regis, will be the defensive coordinator. Dan Fritz, who has been with Spooner all along at Mullan, will continue to serve as the team’s offensive coordinator.
The Tigers averaged over 33 points per game in 2017 and features one of the top returning 8-man players in the state in junior Skye Gallaway. Despite playing for a one-win team as a sophomore, Gallaway earned second-team All-State recognition from coaches around the state and has already piqued the interest of some college coaches in the region with still two full seasons of high school football yet to go.
Mullan will be replacing the long-time leadership of departed quarterback Gryphon Todd. Joe Morris and Nick Day will have the first cracks at winning the job over the summer. That duo will be protected by senior linemen Kash Truitt and JD Booker. Gallaway will be used in a role that allows the Tigers to get the ball to him a variety of different ways, whether that be in the back field or as a receiver, to exploit matchups. A pair of incoming freshmen, Luke Trogden and Adam Ball, will have a chance to earn carries as well.
Defensively, the Tigers have some improvements to make. The team gave up an average of nearly 64 points per game but Spooner is confident that improved depth, improved experience and the addition of Allan, a smart, veteran coach, to focus on the team’s defense will pay big dividends for the program.
Galloway (DB) and senior Chandler Holling (LB) return and welcome in Booker, a senior from St. Regis, along the defensive front. Juniors Matt Peite, Ian Farris, Samuel Hess and Riley Trogden should also factor into the Tigers’ defensive gameplan.
Will that be enough? The District 1/2 White Star League (a joint effort between District 1’s North Star and District 2’s White Pine) has been dominated in recent years by Deary and Kendrick out of District 2. So much so, in fact, that a District 1 team hasn’t qualified for 1A Division 2 postseason play since Kootenai did so in 2013.
The Tigers will have to go to both Deary and Kendrick in 2018 but the schedule-makers also have Mullan ending the season with three consecutive games on its own home field, including a potentially big season-ender on Saturday, October 27, against Lewis County. Head Coach Monty Moddrell’s Eagle team returns a loaded backfield and is expected to be in position to contend for a playoff berth – which is a position Mullan hopes to be in as well.
“I hate the word ‘potential,’ it means we haven’t done anything yet,” Spooner concluded. “But, that being said, our potential is exciting and it looks to be a bright future.”