An Underclassman In A Class Of His Own
Published: 2/28/2017 11:03:29 PM
Michael Ure helped lead Ririe to its first district title since 2004. Can he spur the Bulldogs to a state title?
It was just four years ago that Eric Torgerson began his second stint as the head coach for the Ririe Bulldogs. After an 0-19 season in his first year back in Ririe things looked bleak, but the Ririe faithful never lost hope, always maintaining that rebuilding is a process which would eventually lead to the Bulldogs being winners once again.
Three years later the Bulldogs are 22-2, including taking home their first district championship since 2004, defeating the Firth Cougars 56-50.
So what took the Bulldogs from the basement of the Nuke to the kings of the conference?
There are a lot of answers to that question, but one giant man has been a key cog in that equation.
Michael Ure is a rare breed, especially in one of Idaho’s smaller school size classifications. He stands at 6’6”, but plays even bigger than that. With an arsenal of post moves and an uncanny ability to knock down the long ball, Ure is the definition of a matchup nightmare.
Although he is a double-double threat for the Bulldogs, perhaps his greatest value lies on the defensive side on the basketball.
“I want to contribute any way I can, and I feel like I can change the game by affecting shots defensively, as well as rebounding the ball.”
This Ririe team is unlike any other in recent memory, and Michael gives all the credit for their incredible success to his teammates.
“We have a well-rounded team with outside shooters and smart point guards and a great floor general, as well as another large presence inside to help take the pressure off of me,” said Ure.
Beating the perennial power Cougars from Firth is no small task, as the Cougars have piled up a 96 percent winning percentage in the Nuclear Conference since 2004. This season Ririe knocked them off three times.
“We knew we had the necessary tools to beat them. If they tried to take something away from us, we had an answer. If they take away the outside game, we would work inside, and vice versa,” Ure added.
But to the Ririe faithful, this is about so much more than just beating Firth and winning the district title.
“Our goal as a team from the beginning of tryouts and all we have worked so hard for this year is a state championship,” said Ure.
Michael is already quickly becoming one of the most highly recruited athletes out of the state of Idaho, as his performance for both UBC (a club program out of Utah) and Ririe have scouts buzzing around one of the most talented up-and-coming players.
With that said, Ure doesn’t even plan to play basketball immediately following his sure to be illustrious career with Ririe.
“After high school, I plan to serve an LDS mission and then hopefully move on the collegiate level and compete.”
Michael and the Ririe Bulldogs will look to complete the winter trifecta, as the girls’ basketball and wrestling programs have already brought home state championships. Ririe will begin their pursuit of history on Thursday at 3 p.m. at Capital High School where they will face the 15-10 Nampa Christian Trojans in the quarterfinal round of the 2017 2A Boys Real Dairy Shootout.