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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of  November 7 - 13, 2001

  Sports

Middle school football teams enjoy unbeaten seasons

Hailey eighth, seventh graders


Itís been a memorable fall season for the Wood River Middle School football teams.

Unbeaten a year ago as seventh graders, this yearís Hailey eighth graders also finished 6-0 to wind up an outstanding two-year record of success for head coach Chris Malmgren.

Tyler Jackson busts through a hole past the block of pulling guard Andrew Grimaldo (left). Express photo by David N. Seelig

Wood Riverís eighth graders outscored foes 190-29 including two huge winsóa dramatic 8-0 victory at Declo in September and a hard-fought 30-15 home win over Buhl Oct. 3.

Other home triumphs were 16-0 over Jerome, 52-8 over Kimberly and 52-0 over Gooding in the Oct. 16 finale, plus a 32-6 road success at Filer.

Malmgren, who coached the group for two years, said, "They were real competitorsóa very talented group. They believed they could go out and make plays and win. Iíll really miss just watching them play.

"Last year they learned they could be competitive. This yearís biggest challenge was not being complacent with what they had achieved. And they rose to the challenge in every capacity. They were a much better team this year."

One big-sized star was Dusty Selner, a 5-10, 195-pounder who usually made the key block as fullback in Wood River's double wing offense, and also played middle linebacker in the teamís 5-3 defensive alignment.

Malmgren said WRMS has been committed to running the double wing offense for four years, ever since the Wood River Optimist football program began. Each year, teams have done better at learning and running the offense.

He said, "Itís a power, misdirection style of offense that overloads with blockers at the point of attack. We were well suited for it because we really had a strong, powerful team and a tough, physical fullback."

Joining Selner in the backfield were wings Tyler Jackson, Carl Browning, Joshua Jones, Jesse Stark and Scott Bartlett. Quarterback was Derek Abbott.

On the offensive line were center Casey Lane, guards Ray Bryson and Andrew Grimaldo, tackles Chase Thomas, Eric Flolo and Adrian Grimaldo, tight ends Josh VanDyck and Kyle Balmer. Jackson punted.

In the thrilling game against Declo, the Hornets threw their whole wing-T package at Wood Riverís defense, but the Hailey boys kept Declo out of the end zone and finally scored.

Stationed at the Hornet two-yard-line with under two minutes left in the scoreless game, Abbott connected with Jackson for a TD pass and Selner ran the two-point conversion.

Versatility was the hallmark of the tough 5-3 defense which tried to occupy the other teamís offensive line with Haileyís defensive front, in order to free up linebackers for ball pursuit.

Across the front were nose guard Charles Drake, tackles Donald Sluder and Alex Dahlman, and ends Houston Shaw and Ross Campbell.

Linebackers were Browning and Bartlett on the outside and Selner in the middle. In the secondary were safety Jackson plus cornerbacks Morgan Uhrig and Houston Brashears.

Other players were Casey Hawkes, Andrew Taylor, David Kennedy, Nate Douthit, Timmy Riggen, Tim Vert, Justin Ramm, Chris Haywood, Michael Gross, Theron Kolp, Josh Orchard, Sean Logullo, Stevie Rosso, Grady Goodenough, Tyler Chandler and Richard Kelsey.

Head coach Malmgren is fully aware of what is required at the high school level, but he understands that it all starts on the middle school teams.

Malmgren coached the Wood River High School varsity for four seasons, from 1992-95. He guided the Wolverines to their first-ever state football playoff appearance in 1995.

"Our whole goal is to prepare the kids with the necessary fundamentals so they can increase them and improve during their football careers in high school," he said.

"Hopefully when the kids finish our program they can block and tackle, and they know how to practice and can start to understand the football mentality."

In all, 38 students were on the team coached by defensive coordinator Malmgren, assistant Rob Swanson (offensive coordinator) and Pete Jackson (defensive backs).

Voted Most Inspirational at the eighth-grade team banquet Oct. 23 was Carl Browning.

Coach Don Castleís WRMS seventh-grade team also enjoyed an outstanding fall season, going 7-0 and outscoring opponents 282-24. The first-string defense never gave up a touchdown. In its final game, WRMS defeated Gooding 42-0.

 


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.