Eastern looks to reignite rivalry
A rivalry decades in the making is set to resume this fall.
After the program was disbanded in 1977, the College of Idaho will kick off its first year of college football after the program was reinstated in 2012. With its location in Caldwell, Idaho, just over a two-hour drive away from La Grande, the proximity between the schools instantly makes it Eastern’s closest opponent in the Frontier Conference.
The clashes between the Mountaineers and the Coyotes are typically some of the fiercest matchups in any given sport, so Eastern head coach Tim Camp sees no reason why a healthy rivalry shouldn’t develop overnight.
“They had a really rich tradition in the past” he said. “With them being so close, it better turn into a good rivalry.”
The competitiveness notwithstanding, the addition will open up the Boise area even more for recruiting advantages. Eastern currently has 10 players on its 2014 roster from the Treasure Valley, while six of its 22 2014 signees hail from the Boise area.
“That’s a hotbed recruiting area, and we’ve made a point to get back in there,” Camp said. “We’ve always really focused on Washington, and done some spot-recruiting in other areas, but no doubt about it, we’re going for kids in that Treasure Valley.”
Camp says the addition of the College of Idaho will afford Boise-area players one more opportunity to attend college near their hometown. The Frontier Conference’s appeal, already on firm standing (according to who?), should see an immediate boost also with the Coyotes getting their program back on track.
“I think its great for small-college football,” Camp said. “I think with the (College of Idaho) name, it has instant credibility, and I know they will do an awesome job. Its great for the Frontier Conference, which in my mind is strongest small conference in the NAIA. It’s a benefit for us and and it’s a boost for the conference.”
College of Idaho head coach Mike Moroski is in his second year at the helm and hopes he can restore that past heritage quickly (what does the heritage include?). The whirlwind of activity started when he was hired and will continue up until the 2014 season opener.
For the full story, see Wednesday's issue of The Observer