A rocky start to the season for PR football


PRIEST RIVER — The Lakeland Hawks gave the Priest River men’s football team a 5-0 loss on Monday.

“I was hoping they would come back recovered,” said head coach Nick Tucker, who said this season’s game and practice schedule got a little challenging at the start of the school year.

After the Spartans’ 5-4 victory over St. Maries in early September, Priest River football “had maybe a practice and a half” due to smoke, Tucker said. “Running in the halls is not the same thing.”

Lost practice time has increased for the team, Tucker said. On September 15, the team came out with cold legs and lost to Timberlake 4-1. Originally scheduled for September 14, the Spartans played Timberlake the day before they played Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy, where they also lost by 6 to 0.

Tucker said he hoped the team would be more rested on Monday, but for the first half of the game he said “it felt like they were running on sand”.

The coach said that, in addition to resistance, defensive restraint was lacking. He praised senior goalkeeper Luke Butler as a standout player for the Spartans – although the coach added that it’s up to the defense to stop decent shots from being made. Butler’s savings rate is 60% so far for the season.

The Spartans will face the St. Maries tonight, September 21, in a rematch two weeks after what is so far her only win this season.

Similar difficulties also plagued the women’s team, which saw a 2-0 win over St. Maries, followed by a week-long reflection period that saw them return to the field and lose 11-1 to Timberlake on 14 and 11 September. 0 against the Charter Coeur d’Alene.

Tucker said the girls are struggling not just with defensive containment, but also with coordinating their movements and offensive rotation.

The girls played the Newport (Wash.) Grizzlies on Tuesday night and had a 5-0 victory.

It was the first time the girls had 15 players present, allowing them to make four rare substitutions, said women’s coach Christina Leonard. Veteran Kiersten Davis made 10 shots with 2 goals and junior goalkeeper Brooklyn Best made 14 saves.

“We had 11 steals and 17 interceptions. The girls played a good game,” coach Leonard said.

Both teams will play in St. Maries on September 21, where they hope to repeat their previous success.

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