A Different Kind of 1A
Published: 2/4/2017 12:48:45 AM
After a state championship last season, the Ambrose Archers are back and hoping for more.
After winning the 1AD1 Boys Real Dairy Shootout last year, the Ambrose Archers have started to become a household name in small school basketball in the state of Idaho.
Many times when thinking about what a classic 1A school is you think of rural communities scattered across the gem state.
Located right along the line of where Meridian has continued to grow towards Boise, The Ambrose School is not your typical small school.
In a short history the accolades have quickly started to pile up for what is already a perennial challenger for a state title. Along with the championship last season, the now-graduated Travis Yenor also earned 1AD1 State Player of the Year honors for what was a dominant senior campaign.
This time around the Archers and Head Coach Jay Hughes have a core consisting of senior Jaxon Hughes, junior Ethan Christianson and a supporting cast with talent, smarts and togetherness which has led to a number five ranking in the most recent state media poll.
The father-son duo of Jay and team captain Jaxson has helped to continue the tradition, with the younger Hughes having held a heavy role for the Archers throughout his high school career that has only continued to expand as he has matured.
The Ambrose School is one of around 400 schools in the country that is a part of the National Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS). These types of schools exist in a broad spectrum of locations, ranging from rural communities to cities in locations such as Meridian.
As someone who has been to many of the small schools throughout Idaho, it was enjoyable to see the Dietrich at Ambrose basketball game come together as a reality during the regular season. A couple of dominant programs both coming off state title victories last season. The two teams had played twice in previous years, both finishing within one score.
So naturally, in the most recent enactment the Blue Devils knocked off the Archers 59-58, continuing a string of outstanding basketball games between the two schools. It was a great opportunity for two of the contenders in each of their classifications to get another big test prior to the ever-important three days that each program hopes to reach in March.
Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of 1A athletics, regardless of the sport, is the family-type atmosphere that seemingly exists between coaches, players, administrators and fans. It doesn't matter if it is Dietrich, Mackay, Ambrose, Lapwai, Prairie or anywhere in between, the feel is always similar and one of the big reasons that small school athletics are as successful as they are in this state.
One thing is for certain though, the Ambrose Archers have put themselves directly in the middle of the discussion when it comes to 1A basketball. Now the question is, can they repeat? Undefeated Lapwai hopes to have something to say about that.