JEROME — Jerome High School held a college signing ceremony for three senior football players on Thursday afternoon.
Colten Craig signed with the College of Idaho, Jordin Myers with Rocky Mountain and Dallyn Koch with Lewis-Clark Valley.
Craig was one of Jerome’s best players on both sides of the ball. Right now, Craig plans to enter Caldwell as a linebacker, but he said the chance of playing running back is still there.
Either way, he’s relieved to have his college destination finalized, and he’s thrilled to continue his football career.
Thursday’s signing also went by oddly fast.
“I spent all four years dreaming of this moment. Within 10 minutes, it’s like, ‘Well, what’s next?’” Craig said. “I know what I’ve gotta do next to further myself, but it’s crazy to think I got through all those four years just to get to this point, and not know what to do next.”
Craig said he also drew interest from Montana State University-Northern, Montana Tech and Rocky Mountain, but the College of Idaho stood out for a few reasons. For one, Caldwell is only a two-hour or so drive from Jerome.
“It’s far enough away that I can live my life and and experience life on my own,” he said, “but it’s close enough that if I do need anything, I have family and friends right there.”
Craig will also receive a significant amount of money in academics scholarships (no athletic aid yet), he said, and he was impressed by the school’s biology program. His career goal is to become a conservationist.
“I’ve lived my life outdoors. I go hunting, I fish, I go driving around the desert,” Craig said. “If I can major in (biology) in one of the best schools in the country, then I’m happy.”
Myers shared a backfield with Craig at Jerome, and he’ll continue to play quarterback at Rocky Mountain. The Bears play in the same NAIA conference (the Frontier) as the College of Idaho, so in a couple of years, Myers and Craig could be on the same field, but on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage.
“Being able to see him across the way, going against each other, is gonna be a little different, but it’s gonna be fun,” Myers said. “We’ll be pretty good rivals.”
Myers said he received a partial scholarship, and he plans to redshirt this coming season. He also expects to study physical therapy when he gets to Billings, Mont.
He talked with MSU-Northern and Montana tech, but Rocky Mountain separated itself.
“Rocky was a better fit academically,” Myers said. “As far as their football program, the coaching staff is great.”
Myers was named the Great Basin Conference’s first-team quarterback following the 2017 season.
Koch, like Craig, starred on both sides of the ball for the Tigers. The plan right now is to play offensive line when he gets to Lewiston, he said, but he might see some action at defensive end.
Unlike Craig and Myers, Koch joins a new and unconventional program. Lewis-Clark Valley, an affilate of Lewis-Clark State College, was formed in 2013 “due to the absence of NCAA-Division III (and D-II) football programs in the state of Idaho,” according to its athletics website. The Loggers play against smaller programs in the region, aiming to provide opportunities and exposure for players like Koch.
“They really care about their players,” Koch said. “They’re like, ‘Hey, if you’re interested in playing, we’ll give you a shot. You’ve just gotta show up and prove that you can do it.’ That’s what I really like about them. They’ll give anybody a shot.”
Koch said the bulk of his financial aid will be academic.
He drew interest from a couple schools out of state, he said, but Lewis-Clark Valley’s offer was too good to pass up.
“You get a pretty cheap, good education from it,” he said, “and you get to play some pretty good football.”
On Wednesday, Wood River senior Jaren Bothwell signed with Montana Western to play wide receiver and return kicks/punts.
Bothwell said he will join the Bulldogs as a preferred walk-on, which means he’ll be guaranteed a roster spot even without receiving a scholarship. He plans to redshirt in the fall.
Bothwell got in touch with Montana Western about a year ago. He visited a couple other college camps, but the Bulldogs were the only program to offer a guaranteed roster spot.
“I definitely enjoyed Western more than the other ones,” Bothwell said over the phone on Thursday.
Despite not receiving a scholarship, Bothwell — listed at 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds — was included in Montana Western’s 21-player 2018 recruiting class.
“Although not the biggest player, Jaren has quick feet, good hands and a sense for the game,” Bulldogs head coach Ryan Nourse said in a news release. “Jaren is a great student and he loves to compete.”
TWIN FALLS — Two Twin Falls High School seniors made their college decisions official on Wednesday, and both are headed to the same school.
Madison Glascock and Lexi Rierson signed with the College of Idaho on Wednesday afternoon in front of family and friends at Twin Falls High School. Both will join the Yotes’ women’s soccer team, and Glascock will run track when she gets to Caldwell.
“I’m really overwhelmed. It’s so exciting,” Rierson said Wednesday. “It’s a new life, basically.”
Rierson plans to play center-midfield for the Yotes, while Glascock will play forward. Glascock also plans to run sprints for the track team.
Glascock didn’t initially plan to be a two-sport athlete. Soccer was the focus, and she committed to the College of Idaho women’s soccer program before track became an option. But the Yotes’ track coach saw her during past 4A state track meets, Glascock said, and reached out to her earlier this winter. Before long, she was committed as a two-sport athlete.
“I wanted to go on and play college soccer ever since I was a little girl. It always was a dream of mine,” Glascock said Wednesday. “Now, I get to do track, too. It’s awesome.”
Glascock and Rierson were two of the best players on a deep Twin Falls roster this past fall. Rierson was the Great Basin Conference’s co-offensive player of the year, and Glascock made the first team.
Glascock, who had 22 goals and 14 assists in 2017, is one of three strikers in the Yotes’ 11-player 2018 recruiting class. The other two are Laura Staropoli, of Oregon, and Lexie Hibler, who used to attend Bishop Kelly and now resides in Utah.
“Both Lexie and Madison bring a ton of pace to our front line and will instantly put the opponent on their heels,” College of Idaho head women’s soccer coach Brian Smith said in a news release. “They are players that both love the 1-v-1 and are proven goal scorers at the club and high school level.”
The Yotes also signed three midfielders, including Glascock and Kassandra Phillips, who attends Centennial.
“Alexa and Kass will bring a great deal of athleticism, technical ability, and pace to our talented midfield,” Smith said in the release. “Both players can drive through the midfield with the ball and both can strike from distance. I expect them to bring depth to our midfield and will look to make a mark very early in the season.”
Glascock and Rierson said the College of Idaho wasn’t the only school that expressed interest in them, but their choice wasn’t difficult. Glascock enjoyed the campus and the soccer team’s chemistry. Rierson didn’t want to live too far away from home. Both received hefty scholarships (mostly academic).
And each player will join the Yotes with a familiar face right next to them.
“Me and her work really well together on the field and outside the field,” Rierson said. “I’m excited to have her up there and be by my side the whole way.”
Oakley 47, Hagerman 22
MURTAUGH — The Hornets handled the Pirates in Thursday’s Snake River Conference tournament game to secure a spot in the 1A Division I state tournament.
Thursday’s game happened two days after Oakley lost its perfect record in a district title game loss to Shoshone.
“The girls regrouped and came out and played basketball,” Oakley coach Matt Payton said Thursday. “We’re excited to represent the conference at state.”
Makinlee Cranney scored a game-high 12 points for the Hornets (22-1), who will face Grace this coming Thursday in the first round of the state tournament.
Hagerman finished the season with a 14-11 record.
Oakley 47, Hagerman 22
Hagerman 7 5 5 5 — 22
Oakley 12 9 14 12 — 47
HAGERMAN (22) — Elly Yore 4, Marina Acuna 4, Alana Floyd 6, Aubri Achabal 4, Tristyn Hulme 4.
OAKLEY (47) — Brittany Hardy 9, Brynn Westover 4, Blakely Payton 3, Liz Hardy 2, Mallory Beck 8, Makinlee Cranney 12, Rachael Mitton 9.
Dietrich 84, Lighthouse Christian 50
DIETRICH — The fast-paced Blue Devils raced past the Lions for a North Side Conference win in the final regular season game for both teams.
Dietrich senior Slade Dill scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. He also surpassed 1,000 points in his high school career, according to his father and Blue Devils head coach Wayne Dill.
Kade Shaw scored 19 points, Brady Power had 11 and Lon Page added 10 for Dietrich (19-1), which secured the No. 1 seed at next week’s district tournament at Shoshone High School.
Jordan Bradshaw scored 17 points for Lighthouse Christian (12-6), which earned the No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 Hansen in the first round of the district tournament, which takes place on Tuesday.
Dietrich 84, Lighthouse Christian 50
Lighthouse 9 11 12 18 — 50
Dietrich 25 23 20 16 — 84
LIGHTHOUSE (50) — Holloway 6, Bradshaw 17, Scarrow 2, De Jong 3, Ligtenberg 3, Brandsma 8, Lookingbill 7, Stephens 2, Xiang 2.
DIETRICH (84) — Tel Shaw 5, Brady Power 11, Ragyn Robertson 4, Kade Shaw 19, Slade Dill 27, Lon Page 10, Andy Power 4, Brian Chavez 4.
98: Chance Bennett (B) pin Brogan Leckenby, 3:06; 106: Devin Rowland (B) pin Tristian Cota, 0:44; 113: Eric Gutierrez (B) by forfeit; 120: Slade Peyman (B) dec. Jonah Bacon, 6-0; 126: Hunter Demerly (K) by forfeit; 132: Adam Mings (B) pin Travis Erickson, 0:37; 138: Riley Hallett (K) tech fall David Razo, 19-2 6:00; 145: Carson Schvaneveldt (K) pin Trieg Christensen, 3:14; 152: Michael Coy (K) pin Ruben Vera, 1:45; 160: Alan Palmer (K) pin Brodie Winson, 1:36; 170: Broddey Cunningham (K) by forfeit; 182: Hunter O`Berg (K) by forfeit; 195: AJ Dominquez (B) maj. dec. Kaden Buhler, 13-4; 220: Eric Cisneros (K) by forfeit; 285: Tito Garcia (K) by forfeit
Kimberly 56, Declo 30
98: Dax Blackmon (D) pin Brogan Leckenby, 3:28; 106: Layton Clark (D) pin Tristian Cota, 0:34; 113: Jon Anderson (D) by forfeit; 120: Jonah Bacon (K) by forfeit; 126: Hunter Demerly (K) pin Austin Barker, 1:06; 132: Dylan Muir (D) pin Julian Rocha, 2:50; 138: Riley Hallett (K) pin Ethan Gould 2:50; 145: Carson Schvaneveldt (K) dec. Tony Marino, 5-4; 152: Michael Coy (K) pin Gabe Matthews 1:00; 160: Alan Palmer (K) pin Elijah Koyle, 1:09; 170: Jake Hardy (K) pin Braden Darrington, 1:27; 182: Hunter O`Berg (K) tech fall Miguel Juarez, 20-5 5:52; 195: Sy Osterhout (D) pin Kaden Buhler 1:31; 220: Eric Cisneros (K) by forfeit; 285: Tito Garcia (K) pin Peyton Thompson, 2:34
Declo 45, Buhl 31
98: Dax Blackmon (D) dec. Chance Bennett, 8-4; 106: Devin Rowland (B) inj. time Layton Clark; 113: Jon Anderson (D) pin Eric Gutierrez, 3:33) 120: Slade Peyman (B) by forfeit; 126: Austin Barker (D) pin David Tennant, 5:37; 132: Adam Mings (B) pin Dylan Muir, 1:45; 138: David Razo (B) maj. dec. Ethan Gould, 15-5; 145: Tony Marino (D) pin Trieg Christensen, 3:17; 152: Ruben Vera (B) pin Gabe Matthews, 1:20; 160: Elijah Koyle (D) pin Jacob Gardner, 0:41; 170: Braden Darrington (D) over Brodie Winson, 4:47; 182: Miguel Juarez (D) by forfeit; 195: AJ Dominquez (B) SV-1 Sy Osterhout, 7-5; 220: Double Forfeit 285: Peyton Thompson (D) by forfeit
MOSCOW — The Idaho football team spent the last three years reestablishing a defensive identity as a dominant run-stopping program. With an upcoming transition to the Big Sky on the horizon, it appears as though the team hopes to maintain that reputation among the FCS ranks.
Coach Paul Petrino inked a trio of linebackers as part of a 10-member class to sign their letters of intent for the Vandals on Wednesday. With the addition of another 12 athletes from December’s early signing period, Petrino has now netted 22 recruits during the offseason.
“The more success we have here, the better recruits we’ll get from around here,” Petrino said of signing seven Northwest athletes. “Early on we had to go farther away because it wasn’t what it used to be. The more we win here and the better we do, the better we’ll do recruiting around here.”
While the early signing period might have included an emphasis on bolstering the offensive line, Petrino turned his sights toward restocking the linebacking corps while on the high school trail. Wednesday’s defensive signees included Ross Chadderon of Coeur d’Alene, Tre Walker of Fresno Central (Dos Palos, Calif.) and D’Andrei Pittman of East St. John (Laplace, La.).
“Those guys, we’re excited to have them,” linebackers coach Bobby Daly said. “I think we’ve got good athleticism across the board. They’ll have a great opportunity to learn and hopefully they can take everything in and fill those shoes once they’re gone.”
Of the three linebackers, Petrino seemed the most excited about Walker, a 6-foot-1 standout known for disrupting the ground game of opponents.
“We measured everybody’s hands and he’s got the biggest of any recruit we had this year, which will make him a good tackler,” Petrino said. “He’s more of a MIKE—that true middle linebacker. He’s a good football player who likes to run to the ball and hit people.”
Meanwhile, Pittman and Chadderon provide the Vandals with speed and versatility, two traits found in current starters Ed Hall and Kaden Elliss.
“He does an exceptional job of rushing the passer,” Daly said of Chadderon. “He plays well in space, he’s got good hands and ball skills. He’s always flying around and got good instincts.”
The Vandals also got some offensive firepower with the addition of Aundre Carter and Khalil Forehand, as well as burly fullback Logan Kendall. The trio is expected to help fill the void left behind by recent graduate Aaron Duckworth, who finished second in the Sun Belt with 1,025 yards rushing.
“You hope that Isaiah (Saunders) is going to have a breakthrough year as a senior,” running backs coach Jason Shumaker said. “The other guys see that and then they know what’s expected of them. We always have high competition in our room, so they know whoever’s best is going to play.”
While Forehand represents a speedy force who could double as a track star, Carter resembles the prototypical Vandal tailback known for a powerful rushing style.
“He’s a big physical kid who’s tough to bring down, and that’s what we’ve had success with here for our running backs,” Shumaker said of Carter. “We found another one who would be a real good player for us.”
Perhaps the most intriguing commitment was from Nikhil Nayar, a Mercer Island, Wash., gunslinger that Petrino compared to former Vandal Jake Luton. After serving a backup role behind Matt Linehan for two seasons, Luton transferred to Ventura Community College in 2016 and later earned a starting role at Oregon State.
“He’s a big pocket-type kid who will fit us well, because we’ve successfully used that style of guy before,” offensive coordinator Kris Cinkovich said. “Matt was kind of that way once he grew and got bigger, Jake was also that kind of guy. We know how to develop that skill set, and I think he’ll develop well here.”
While the majority of Petrino’s recruits enter the program with an established position, the sixth-year coach is still mulling over the options for Jaxon Woodward. The 185-pound Seattle Prep standout previously played quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back for the Panthers.
“He’ll probably be a receiver or in the secondary, that’s probably where he’ll start out,” Petrino said. “He’s got a big frame. If he keeps growing, you never know. He could grow into a catching tight end.”
FCS DIFFICULTIES — Despite an upbeat attitude throughout Wednesday’s news conference, Petrino admitted the upcoming move to the Big Sky negatively impacted several recruiting trips.
“There are a couple homes—you’re not going to get them, because they want to be Division I more than anything,” Petrino said. “A lot of times that’s the parents, more so than the kids. The parents want to bop their chest, go around and tell all their friends their kid is playing Division I.”
RECEIVING A THUMBS UP — With the addition of the early signing period in December, many collegiate coaches voiced their concerns with recruiting during the bowl season. However, Petrino admitted he finds the change to be positive for the Idaho football program.
“I think I like it,” Petrino said. “I didn’t know what it would be like, the thing that’s nice is that a lot of kids will commit to you early, but now you know (for sure). Anyone who committed to us on the early signing day, we said, ‘OK, sign.’ If they didn’t, then we moved on, because they’re not really committed. They love us now until they find someone who they love better.”
Aundre Carter — running back, 5-9, 238, Clay High, Starke, Fla. ... finished as the runner-up for in the 5A Florida Mr. Football voting ... rushed for 2,348 yards and 24 touchdowns to lead his school to the quarterfinals as a senior.
Ross Chadderdon — linebacker, 6-1, 210, Coeur d’Alene High, Hayden ... was named to the 5A All-Idaho First-Team as a senior ... was named the Inland Empire League Defensive Player of the Year ... led his team to the state title game ... tallied 133 tackles on the season, including 14 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
Khalil Forehand — running back, 5-10, 174, Bishop Kelly High, Boise ... second-team 4A All-SIC selection as both tailback and defensive back during his senior year ... averaged 9.0 yards per carry ... is expected to also join the Vandal track and field team.
Logan Kendall — fullback, 6-4, 256, Cheney High ... two-time All-Great Northern League selection at defensive end ... named the MVP of the University of Idaho football camp in 2017.
Tomalati (Michael) Maafu — defensive lineman, 6-2, 266, Saguaro High, Phoenix ... led Saguaro to its fifth straight AIA 4A state championship as a senior ... first-team all-conference and all-region selection ... represented native Tonga in international rugby competition.
Nikhil Nayar — quarterback, 6-5, 229, Mercer Island (Wash.) High ... led his team to the state playoffs as a senior ... threw for 2,525 yards and 20 touchdowns while also rushing for 300 yards and another score ... earned second-team All-KingCo 3A honors.
D’Andrei Pittman — linebacker, 6-1, 185, East St. John High, Laplace, La. ... first-team All-District 7-5A selection ... recorded 12 sacks to lead his school to the postseason during his junior and senior years ... father plays professional football in the National Arena League.
Tre Walker — linebacker, 6-1, 226, Fresno Central High, Dos Palos, Calif. ... nabbed first-team All-Tri-River Athletic Conference honors during his senior year ... guided his program to the CIF Central Section Division I championship ... recorded 140 tackles, seven sacks, one interception and one forced fumble.
Jaxon Woodward — athlete, 6-1, 185, Seattle Prep High ... earned second-team All-Metro League honors as a quarterback and all-conference accolades as a cornerback ... led the Panthers in both rushing and passing ... both parents played soccer at the collegiate level.
Steavenson Fernand—wide receiver, 6-3, 190, Davie, Fla., ASA College ... Averaged 16.2 yards per catch and recorded two touchdowns as a sophomore ... caught six scoring strikes as a freshman, leading his team to a 7-2 record.
BURLEY — For the Burley High School girls basketball team to win the Great Basin Conference title on Thursday night, it took a balanced team effort and late-game tenacity.
Three senior Bobcats scored 11 points to lead them to a 50-47 win against rival Minico. Two of the top scorers were team leaders, but the third came off the bench.
Rebecca Tolman was a 3-point threat all night long, including her back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth quarter that took Burley from a tie game to a six-point lead. She said she didn’t realize how big those two shots were until she saw the scoreboard during a timeout soon after.
“I looked up and saw we were up by six,” she said, “and I knew it would make a difference down the stretch.”
Burley head coach Roger Caresia said that Tolman had struggled shooting coming into the game, but he and his staff had confidence in her, and she played to her potential in the title game.
“Becca’s got talent,” he said. “She got some really good looks tonight and hit them. When you come off the bench like that, you have to be ready as soon as you’re called on, and she was.”
Hallie Cook backed up Tolman’s effort when she converted an and-one opportunity soon after, then drained two free throws to make the lead 40-33 with less than four minutes to go.
“Becca started making them, so I was trying to help her out,” Cook said. “Those shots really helped us get our groove and gave us some energy.”
The Spartans had no intention of going away, however, and Maura Merrill was there to lead the charge. She scored all of her 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer to start the quarter and two more to keep Minico close in the final minute.
But Burley’s 11-of-16 performance from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter made it difficult for the Spartans to tie or take a lead, and with only a second left off the inbound, Saydi Anderson didn’t even have time to get off a shot before the buzzer sounded.
“We hit some big foul shots under pressure,” Caresia said. “Overall, we played with a little more poise than we have recently late in the game.”
Though the game ended with a close margin, the Bobcats kept a lead throughout the entire first half, including doubling up Minico’s score midway through the second quarter 18-9. The Spartans began to build a run fueled by Anderson, who scored 12 points to lead the Spartans on the night.
But with a four-point game and second remaining until the half, Sydney Pilling, another one of the 11-point scorers for Burley, nailed a 3-pointer to give her side a 23-16 lead at the half.
Caresia said Pilling and Tolman have been “the best 3-point shooters” for his side all season long.
The third 11-point scorer for Burley, Natalie Rice, had a more quiet scoring performance, but hit five of the Bobcats’ 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.
A big part of the win, Caresia said, was being able to defend well, and it started early. The Spartans could hardly get a scoring chance as the Bobcats crowded passing lanes and post Jemilynn Mahoney controlled the post down low cleanly, not earning any fouls throughout the entire first half.
“Offensively, we’re good, not great,” Caresia said, “so we need our defense. Later in the game we got a little fatigued, but for the most part, I thought the defense had a really good game.”
Burley will have to wait to find out its first-round opponent at state, which will be the third seed from the Boise-based District 3, a strong conference that boasts three ranked teams in the final girls basketball poll.
No. 5-ranked Minico will take on No. 4 Century, the top seed out of District 5-6, in the opening round of the tournament.
It’s the first district title for the Bobcats since 2013, and after missing the state tournament last year, Cook and Tolman are glad they get that shot one more time before graduation.
“We’ve been wanting this since freshman year,” Tolman said. “We’ve been playing together since we were little, so it’s amazing to get to do this together.”
End of 3rd Q: Burley 31, Minico 28.— Jake Crouse (@jake_crouse94) February 9, 2018
Pilling hit another 3 to end the quarter. Game tight throughout the last six minutes, but Minico's offense looks much better with Anderson on the floor. #idpreps #minicospartans #burleybobcats pic.twitter.com/ty21BGN6fp