Photo By Michella Davenport - #10 Eli Gibson
Written by Chris Deremer
The St. Maries Lumberjacks look to build off a solid foundation going into this upcoming season.
After making the playoffs last season, the Lumberjacks look to accomplish new goals this season while making a return to the postseason.
Almost the entire veteran roster returns for the Lumberjacks, giving St. Maries Lumberjack Head Coach Craig Tefft a great chance at making another state title appearance. First things first, the Lumberjacks aim to win a conference title after falling short to rival Grangeville a year ago. Coach Tefft is excited for the upcoming conference battles his team will be put through this season.
“I think our fans really look forward to our league games every season,” Tefft said. “Our league is always so tough and Grangeville is going to be very good this year.”
Despite the resounding amount of talent that St. Maries brings back this season, one of the biggest challenges Coach Tefft thinks his team will face is simply being able to stay on the field.
“I think if we can stay healthy this year, we will be very competitive,” Tefft said.
Nine seniors and 11 juniors return for the Lumberjacks, with playmakers at both sides of the field looking to succeed once again.
Senior quarterback Eli Gibson returns after having a stellar 2019 season finishing as the 2A Central Idaho Conference Offensive MVP.
If Gibson could perform at an MVP level as a junior, then the sky's the limit for Gibson in his last season as the Lumberjack quarterback.
Despite having stellar numbers last season, Coach Tefft still believes his star quarterback can play even better this season with goals of having a higher passing completion percentage this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, Coach Tefft says he is excited about the amount of depth his defense will have this season.
“We feel pretty good about our front seven and being able to play the run well,” Tefft said. “There is a nice mix of depth and skillsets to move around and be more versatile.”
If there is any weakness for this Lumberjack defense, it will be in the secondary. St. Maries aims to be better at defending opposing passing games this season.
“We struggled against teams that could throw the football,” Tefft said. “We have to improve in pass coverage.”
Entering his tenth season as the Lumberjack head coach, Tefft has had a simple saying that has helped his team continue performing at the highest level — keep chopping.
St. Maries opens the season against Kellogg Aug. 28. Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated scores and schedules.