Brandon Walsh points to history to understand the South division of the Northeast 1B League.
“In the end, I think you’ll find that the programs that have historically been successful will be the ones that come through in the end,” he said.
The Almira-Coulee/Hartline coach was hit hard by graduation after last season, and he’s looking at new starters at just about every position.
Five starters on the ACH offense were first-team all-league performers a year ago. Three more starters on defense were first-teamers.
“Out of 16 total starting positions, combining offense and defense, I have two guys who will be starting in the same position they were at last year,” he said.
Still, Walsh said, he has confidence in the next generation.
“We took about three-quarters of our team to a summer camp,” he explained. “It was the best experience I think we’ve ever had.”
The key to success likely rests with sophomore quarterback Dallas Isaak – the next in a long line of Isaaks to play football at ACH – taking over for the graduated Drew Isaak.
“He saw some playing time for us last year as a running back,” he said. “He stepped up big for us last year in a couple situations where we really needed him.
“When it came time to find a new quarterback this year, we took a look at him and we put him in there. He’s a sophomore, yes, but we’re already seeing occasional signs of brilliance in him. We run a kind of option offense and I think he’s going to handle it just fine.”