Written by Will Hoenike
The 2019 Kamiah Kubs made a hard charge down the stretch toward the 1A Division 1 postseason, winning three of four games going into the final week of the regular season. A win over Clearwater Valley and the Kubs would complete the run and qualify for the playoffs.
Final score – Clearwater Valley 22, Kamiah 14. A fourth-quarter touchdown broke the tie and broke Kamiah’s heart as the Kubs’ season came to an end.
Head coach Nels Kludt is entering his fifth season leading the Kubs and has some talent at his disposal going into this season. Senior Gabe Eades returns after earning first-team All-White Pine accolades last season. In a key late-season win over Genesee, Eades scored three times in three different ways: one rushing, one receiving, and one interception return. Senior Landon Keen and junior Willis Williamson should also contribute, both offensively and defensively, for the Kubs. Williamson, in particular, had 140 yards rushing in the win over Genesee and 174 on the ground the week before in a win over Troy. Keen carried in the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter of that game against the rival Trojans.
Kludt returns a pair of two-way linemen in senior Bodie Norman and junior Easton Lezcano.
The Kubs will have to replace talented playmakers Titus Oatman and Trent Taylor on both sides of the ball, which will offer an opportunity for names unfamiliar to many to leave their mark.
With the change in playoff format in the 1A Division 1 classification this season, it may not come down to a one-game, do-or-die situation this season. There are five conferences and each gets one automatic bid, the conference champion, and the rest of the bracket will be filled out by seven at-large teams. If such a format existed last season, the five-win Kubs may have still reached the postseason despite the loss in the final week of the regular season.
Check back with IdahoSports.com for updated scores and schedules throughout the season.