Waterspring vs Rockland football

Watersprings’ Matt Almgren runs for a touchdown against Rockland.

COVID-19 hit Eastern Idaho 8-man football particularly hard this year, with just three local teams — Butte County, Challis and Watersprings — finishing out a limited season.

The Pirates and Warriors made the playoffs, Butte County in 1AD1 and Watersprings in 1AD2, but the only postseason victory was Watersprings' 88-56 win over Hansen.

Here are the all-area 8-man players for 2020, led by Watersprings’ do-everything senior Matt Almgren, the Post Register 8-Man Player of the Year.

Like most players in 8-man, Almgren played both ways and was arguably one of the top athletes on the field in every game.

“Just the way teams had to game plan for just him alone, it really showed what he brought to the table,” Warriors coach Chris Strahm said. “Everybody on the field knew where he was every single play.”

Almgren ran for 1,261 yards, averaging nearly 11 yards per carry. He scored 14 rushing touchdowns and also had 249 receiving yards and a score while typically playing limited action in blowout games. He was named Rocky Mountain Conference Player of the Year and was a first-team all-conference defensive back and a second-team all-state selection at running back.

All-Area Team

Cummins Anderson, Rec/TE, Butte County

Hayden Angell, DB, Butte County

Christopher Arrizubieta, DB, Challis

Rebel Beard, P, Butte County

Kasen Hohnstein, DL, Challis

Treyton Miller, RB, Butte County

Jrew Plocher, P, Watersprings

Jonah Reynolds, OL, Butte County

R.J. Philips, RB/LB Challis

Ethan Smith, DL, Butte County

Gabe Smith, DE, Watersprings

Parker Strahm, OL, Watersprings

Gavin Tomlinson, Rec/TE, Watersprings

Allan Steele is Sports Editor of the Post Register. Reach him at 208 542-6772 and follow on Twitter at asteele12000