BUTTE FALLS — The Loggers are back in business.
After missing the 2016 season because of a lack of players, Butte Falls will return to the field this fall.
The Loggers have partnered with Crater Lake Charter Academy to play an independent seven-game schedule of Class 1A eight-man football.
Crater Lake Charter Academy is a public school charted through Eagle Point School District 9. It opened its doors in 2014 and has an enrollment cap of 265 this school year.
The academy, which doesn't have teams of its own, had previously shared some players with Eagle Point. The two programs will co-opt in other sports, as well.
"For sports purposes, both schools needed facilities and needed players, so it worked out for both," head coach Jody Crowe said.
The Loggers are a roster of 15, with five seniors, four juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen. About half are from each school, Crowe said. The team practices at and will play its home contests at Butte Falls High. Bus travel arrangements are in the works for players living in Eagle Point, Crowe added.
After Darren Kinyon posted a 3-25 record as head coach the previous three seasons, Shawn Grady took over the Butte Falls program in 2015. The Loggers went 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the Mountain Valley League before sitting out last season.
Enter the 42-year-old Crowe, a former player at College of the Siskiyous who assisted Jeff Olson as a defensive backs coach at Southern Oregon University in the 1990s.
The Eagle Point resident will work for Crater Lake Charter Academy as a learning center facilitator this school year as he guides the Loggers, whose home contests are meetings with Prospect (Sept. 16) and Gilchrist (Oct. 7).
"This is what I've always wanted to do," Crowe said. "I see this as a long-term relationship with Butte Falls and Crater Lake Charter Academy."
The Loggers' senior leaders include quarterback/running back/cornerback/safety Isaac Tiry (a Butte Falls student and multiple-sport participant), safety/cornerback/receiver/backup QB Dalton Lester (a CLCA student) and running back/linebacker/outside defensive end Jordan Davis (CLCA).
Billie Tucker, another senior, is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound offensive lineman/defensive end.
“He’s a great addition,” Crowe said.
The older students have taken on leadership roles, Crowe said, serving as player-coaches at times.
"I'm pretty impressed with everyone I have," Crowe said. "Some of the upperclassmen are really taking the younger kids under their wing and helping us build a program."
Junior Tanner Thompson (CLCA) will be a focus of the backfield while taking on several defensive positions, while junior Kaleb Tiry (Isaac’s brother) should see plenty of time at receiver and cornerback.
Sophomore utility player Zack Genereaux (CLCA) has strong pass-blocking skills and sophomore utility player Josh Patreau (Butte Falls) is a great kid who works hard, Crowe said.
Sophomore receiver/cornerback Kai Hansen (CLCA) gives Butte Falls’ additional speed.
Freshman center/defensive lineman Wyatt Carlton (Butte Falls) is a tough player with a bright future, Crowe added.
Though each player has some favored spots on the field, they'll be able to play anywhere, Crowe said. He said his squad will run a double-wing set.
Assistants Mike Lester (offensive line/defensive line) and Chase Ellis (running backs/defensive backs) will work alongside Crowe.
"Everybody plays a different position at least once during practice," Crowe said. "Freshmen are learning how to snap the ball and tackle properly. If anybody goes down, we'll be ready."
— Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499 or firstname.lastname@example.org