out for football
The Prairie High School football team has 16 players this year.
This is the first time since the late 80’s that it will be an exclusively Prairie program as they dissolved the coalition with Nezperce and Highland after Prairie dropped down to the 1-A, 8-man football level.
Head coach Ryan Hasselstrom says it has been tough so far as they’ve never had all 17 players out for practice at any one time. Monday’s practice had 14 players. He hopes that’ll change once school starts.
With the loss of the Nezperce and Highland players, many of his returning players are in new positions. Mat Forsmann, a receiver last year, will be the quarterback. Ryan Daly and Brandon Johnson will get most of the action at tailback with Kelby Wilson at fullback.
Clark Tacke, Ryan Osterbuhr, Phil Henry and Nick Johnson will man the line.
In 8-man football you have 3 interior linemen, 2 ends and 3 backfield players. It tends to be a more wide open game because you have 3 less defensive players trying to cover the same amount of ground.
The Pirates are shy on size this year so may not be as physical as most of their opponents. Hasselstrom said they’ll likely try to spread the field on offense and throw the ball.
Defensively he wants to pressure the opposing offense and has run lots of tackling drills as that was a sore spot with last year’s team.
The team gets a strong test early as their first game will be against last year’s White Pine League co-champion Troy. Troy is favored by most to win the league and got off to a strong start last week. The game will be at Troy at 7 p.m. the Pirates’ first home game will be their only non-league game this year, Friday, Sept. 10 against Clearwater Valley.
Hasselstrom said they’re not likely to contend for the league title but if things break right a .500 season is not out of the question.
There are 3 seniors on the team this year, Wilson, James Hood and Kyle Groom.
Juniors are Tacke, Forsmann, Osterbuhr, Henry, Tim Russell and Chris Schumacher.
Sophomores are Brandon Johnson, Daly, Daniel Sigler, Jacob Holthaus and Joel Wasem.
Freshmen are Kenneth Enneking and Nick Johnson.