GRANGEVILLE Grangeville’s annual football camp trip to Boise last month was “really, really good,” coach Jeff Adams said July 24. “Especially defensively.”
“It’s always awesome,” Adams said. “This time we got some really good information. We had most of the squad go down.”
Having reorganized the coaching staff with prior head coach Jeff Lindsley now focusing on strength and conditioning and Adams stepping in to the head job, the Bulldogs got a look at just how much players have progressed since last season.
Noah Kaschmitter, Zack Forsmann, Garrett Malone, Justin Fogleman, Nathan Lothspeich, Steve Goldman and Booker Bush all stood out to Adams on the defensive side.
“I bet 18 kids really got after it [in the weight room] since last season,” Adams said. “That made a huge difference.”
So did Orofino transfer Brandon Stump, who at 5-11 and 225 pounds figures to be a forceful player.
“As an offensive coordinator, any time I went against Orofino he was a guy I had to pay attention to,” Adams said.
With defensive coordinator Chad Hill installing a new system, the kids are “really able to use their quickness more,” Adams said. “Chad put a lot of time into finding a defense that matches our kids, and after camp I told him we’re hanging our hat on our defense.”
At camp, “nobody could run the ball on us,” Adams said. “5A Kuna had three plays from the 10 to score. They lost four yards on the first two runs, then they threw incomplete in the end zone. That stands out.”
Adams held out high praise for the offensive line.
“We were worried about our offensive line after last year,” he said. “But after camp, that might be our best asset.”
The camp also revealed the offense as a whole faces a steep learning curve.
JV coaches Mark Craig and Todd Marek remain fixtures with the program, as do varsity assistants Jeff Goldman and Max Cawley. The coaching staff added Cody Stoy, who will help coach defensive line, and JV assistant Austin Gortsema.
Adams is aiming to have 40 boys on the roster this year, and to get as many of them as possible to camp, they have been hard at work this off-season: cutting firewood, filling potholes, haying, patching roofs, caring for lawns and so forth.
Adams said he’s anticipating eight freshman will join four seniors, 14 juniors and 14 sophomores in the program.
“The ones we’re getting are high quality,” Adams said.