A dozen Sandpoint football players earned 4A All-Inland Empire League football team nominations, according to a press release given to the Daily Bee.
Standouts include sophomore linebacker Tag Benefield, who was named Defensive MVP, and junior receiver/defensive back Christian Niemela and Payton Cox, both of whom picked up multiple first-team awards for their efforts on defense and special teams.
Linemen Brandon Casey and Cole Ducken earned all-IEL honors for paving the way for IEL first-team selection Dillan Mitton, whose senior season included a three-touchdown effort against Lakeland. Senior tight end Alex Stockton rounded out Sandpoint’s IEL winners on offense.
Aside from the aforementioned Benefield, the IEL all-defense team was stacked with five Sandpoint players — the most nominees by any school.
Although Sandpoint will be without IEL selections Payton Cox (LB) and Riley Anderson (DB), the Bulldogs will build its defense around Benefield, and all-IEL nominees Conner Hutchings (DL), Tyler Lehman (LB) and Niemela (DB) next season.
Sandpoint finished with a 3-7 record under first-year head coach Ryan Knowles.