Among 26 players out for Kamiah football, the Kubs have an all-state lineman and playoff aspirations this fall.
“Layten Gould is a big-time impact player on both side of the line for us, in the league and in the state,” Kubs head coach Nels Kludt said. “He’s motivated his senior year. He’s looking for a big year, and we’re looking for a big year out of him. He’s a damn good player.”
Gould and quarterback fellow senior Trent Taylor have “both been motivated to show leadership this year,” Kludt said. “They’ve done a great job of that, with Layten leading the line guys and Trent doing that with the skill guys. It’s nice to have kids that can jump into that role and be the guy everybody else can look to.
Taylor “is a big workout guy in the off-season,” Kludt said. “Gabe Eades put a ton of time in at the weight room. We have a lot of kids in that whole group who took other sports in the spring and worked on their speed. Landon Keen and Titus Oatman took track and that helps them on football speed. They put the time in to make themselves better, more for football and basketball, but they like track as well.”
Oatman, at running back, “has a ton of quickness, and he’s a pretty tough kid,” Kludt said. “He’s not huge, but he’s pretty durable for his size. He had a couple of injuries early on last year, but when we got him back, he was an iron man. He knows our system inside and out, and he has also stepped into a leadership role.”
Easton Lazcano and Bodie Norman return to the line, having been “thrust in there last year” after injuries.
“Now they’re coming back bigger, faster, stronger, and they’re guys we’re going to look to, big time, on both sides,” Kludt said.
He noted Cloud Guffey steps up from the JV to the varsity, while Keen, who got “a ton of reps on the defensive side,” will be calling defensive signals.
“Landon is our Swiss Army knife on offense,” Kludt said. “He backs up three or four different spots, and he’s going to help us out in a lot of areas.”
Around the Whitepine League, Kludt sees a more open, less clear-cut chase for first place than in recent years.
“It’s going to be a little different,” he said. “Lapwai lost 12 or 15 seniors, and Prairie also lost some pretty good players. Kooskia has a ton of kids back. We have a ton of kids back. Potlatch has a ton of kids back. … There’s no real front-runner this year, nobody like Genesee a couple of years ago where you look at their roster and just go, ‘Wow.’ It’s everybody’s ballgame, I think.”
Kamiah opens Aug. 30 against non-league Kendrick.