June 27, 2012, 12:14 pm
The Legion season is a sharp contrast compared to the High School season because there are a lot more games jammed into a two month window. With that being said, it gives a lot of kids an opportunity to prove themselves for a possible role on the varsity team the following year. That leads me to the biggest debate I have discovered in the State of Idaho: do teams gear up for the Legion season or is it only good practice to prepare next years High School team instead?
If you have listened to the show in the past week, you know that in Montana, where I come from, Legion Baseball is the only option which puzzles me to think that teams here only truly care about the High School season and the roster for Legion is vastly different. From talking with most of the coaches here in the Treasure Valley, it is about a 50-50 split when it comes to the two different philosophies.
As an example, take a look at two of the premier baseball programs here in the Treasure Valley. The Boise Gems (Timberline) have had the best track record when it comes to Legion baseball success because they bring back college players that have been a part of their program. Although they still try and win High School State Championships, head coach Larry Price told me that the intrigue of being able to compete at the regional and national level in Legion is something his team shoots for. As for another great High School program in the Treasure Valley, Rocky Mountain does not have five seniors that started for their 5A State Championship team playing in the Legion season and thus are giving players that were on the JV team in the High School season an opportunity to play with the AA Legion team.
Stay tuned to 630 The Fan throughout the month of July as we cover Legion baseball all the way through the District Tournament to see what teams from the Treasure Valley have a chance to compete at the State Tournament.
March 9, 2012, 1:04 am
After going on an incredible run to close out the regular season, including a road sweep of Hawaii and San Jose State, there was hope that the Vandals could sneak into the NCAA Tournament or at least the NIT. With the loss yesterday, we found out live on the show that the Vandals would be going to the CIT instead, and event they competed in last year. Before you start laughing at the CIT, I believe this is a GREAT opportunity for the Vandal basketball program to take the next step.
First off, Idaho has a legitimate shot to win the tournament. They carry an impressive resume that includes 18 wins and are already assured of one home game in the opening round of the tournament that will be next Wednesday.
Secondly, this is strictly a mid-major tournament which means that none of the power six conference schools will be eligible to compete. In turn, the Vandals should be the favorites in almost every game they play and will hopefully pave the way for success in the postseason. If you haven't learned by now, building a program is a process and the Vandals are well on their way to eventually making trips to the Big Dance, but for now, success in the CIT is paramount to taking the next step.
I am not denying the fact that this was a disappointing loss to Hawaii (who was playing without their best player) but its time for this team to regroup and get a few wins in the CIT to ensure themselves as the favorites to win the WAC next season.
October 21, 2011, 3:50 pm
We all know the Mustang offense will be ready to go tonight because after last weeks performance in the 1st half against Borah, they still found a way to score 24 points for the win. The real test tonight will be if their defense can maintain its stellar play in stopping the Grizzlies offense that has been a juggernaut of late and is also getting sophomore QB Riley Bradshaw back. The Eagle defense has moved into the top slot as far as points per game allowed and they will not want to give that back up so quickly.
Mountain View travels to Centennial in a game where the Mavericks are looking to rebound from a devastating loss to Rocky Mountain. What also has to concern Mountain View coach Judd Benedick is the fact that they take on Eagle to close out their season. What this means is that if Mountain View stubs their toe again tonight, they could miss the playoffs entirely. In Centennial‚s case, they are only one game outside of fourth place and are trying to come through the back door to steal the last spot, as they are finally getting healthy.
After executing their game plan to perfection last week in the first half, Borah fell apart in the 2nd half and their conference record dropped to 4-3. Braden Corpus will have to be more effective throwing the ball against a Vallivue defense that has had a tough time stopping anyone the last few games. The Falcons are always dangerous with their rushing attack, but I expect the Lions to bounce back with a victory tonight.
The final matchup is essentially a tune up game for the Capital Eagles. Don‚t get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Bob Clark and the Boise Braves, but they will have their hands full against TJ Clarke and the Capital offense tonight.
*** Come out to Dan Wiebold Ford from 4-5 today during the show to sign up for a trip for two to the Boise State vs. UNLV game on November 5th. ***
June 20, 2012, 1:02 pm
When I had Makena on the show yesterday, it was easy to tell that he has a good head on his shoulders and is on the right path when it comes to life in general as well as his football career. Thats why his early commitment to play football at Montana makes sense in many different ways. We all know and understand the pressure of senior year in High School. Many decisions have to be made including what college you will be attending the following year. For athletes, that decision becomes more strenuous especially when you have to mull a decision during the season and Simis can now play football freely this fall which will definitely enhance the chances of Capital bringing home yet another 5A State Championship.
If there ever was a reason to question the quick decision from Simis, (it was his first offer) it would be because of the uncertainty that involves the Montana football program. With NCAA investigations and violations pending, it makes some question the stability of the program for the future. One of the biggest reasons why Simis chose Montana was because of the familiarity he had with the offense, but if the coaching staff changes by next season, will the offense stay the same?
No matter what happens with the Montana program over the next 12 months, Simis made the right call to join a program that has had more success than any other team at the FBS level and he will definitely get his opportunity to play once he arrives in Missoula. More importantly, Simis can now shift his entire focus to winning a 5A State Championship in the fall and thats trouble for the other teams in the state.
March 7, 2012, 10:52 am
It is no secret that Boise State Basketball is struggling right now and there are a lot of issues when it comes to fan support at Taco Bell Arena. The team finished in last place throughout the regular season and even when top 25 teams come in to play the Broncos, the lower bowl is not even full. One reason as to why this is the culture around the program is that there are no players that fans can identify with. Go ahead and try and name three players on the Bronco Basketball team. I know, its pretty tough to do.
As for the Vandals, they are producing wins on the court, but still have the same issues when it comes to attendance and with fans trying to identify with the players on the team. And as for the Idaho State Men's Basketball team, 90% of the state does not even know they exist. Take for the instance that they made the postseason tournament for the 1st time in a while and no one even took notice. In addition, they are about to hire a new head coach and no one has taken much interest.
With all of this being said and after watching the basketball talent pour through the Valley this weekend, why wouldn't each of the three schools above go after at least one or two in-state high school athletes to put in their program? It would give fans someone to follow and, more importantly, a reason to care about college basketball in Idaho.
A few players that come to mind are: Ben Tucakovic, (Borah) Isaiah Wright, (Borah) Mitch Vanderwiel (Cole Valley) and James Livingston. (Fruitland) These four have a lot of potential and with the exception of Wright, who will for sure play Division I basketball, they are all seniors looking for somewhere to play next season.
If you don't think that more people would follow BSU if they had a player from just down the street in Tucakovic, then you are crazy. At the very least, they could name a player on the team that gives them a reason to pay a few bucks to go watch at Taco Bell Arena.
There is basketball talent in the state of Idaho, its time for coaches to make sure they don't leave.