South Fremont High School
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Head Coach: Ryon Pope
Years as Head Coach: 3rd season
Previous Experience: 17 seasons
Record Last Year: 13-10
State Titles: None
Con Bauer, sr. post/guard, 6’7”
Alec Pope, jr. point guard, 5’10”
Joseph Davenport, sr. post, 6’2”
Returning Players with Honors:
Con Bauer, 1st team all conference, 2nd team all state
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Ryker Maupin, guard
Cade Schaat, guard
Chandler Campbell, post
Wyatt Sommer, guard
Shane Hill, guard
Written by: Matt Harris
A lot of trophies have been won by teams in the 3A Mountain Rivers Conference.
South Fremont has had as much success recently in the trophy count however.
The Cougars plan on changing that this season.
A breakout year for South Fremont that resulted in a 13-10 overall record came up just short of a postseason opprtunity when the Cougars fell to Shelley in the district tournament.
Third-year head coach Ryon Pope knows of the hard work that took place to resuscitate the Cougars program on the court.
"Last year's senior class will be missed," Pope said. "They made up the majority or my varsity for the last two seasons and helped us with a turnaround season last year."
Those seniors, including Ryker Maupin, Cade Schaat, Chandler Campbell, and Wyatt Sommer, helped bring an exciting brand of basketball to St. Anthony and helped South Fremont up the competitiveness of the conference.
Despite losing those four key players, Pope isn't concerned about a lack of experience on his squad this year.
"Con Bauer, our leading scorer from last season, returns and should be a good offensive leader for us," Pope said. "We also have Alec Pope back and he is our most experienced guard returning to the team. He has really worked hard on his ball-handling skills."
Having a dynamic scorer in the 6'7 Bauer is a big advantage that many teams could only dream of. That being said, Pope hopes to use Bauer's scoring abilities and the rest of his team in a more balanced way this season.
"Last year, we had inconsistency on offense partly because we probably shot more 3's than we needed to," he said. "We want to balance our outside and inside scoring this year."
Pope mentioned how all of his players can contribute in some way, shape, or form on the court this season and that teamwork could be the most important factor for his squad this year.
South Fremont adds an almost completely new supporting cast behind Bauer, Pope, and senior post Joseph Davenport this year. Underneath the hoop, look for John Shenton, Junior Coverly, and Rhett Potter to make some noise, along with 6'6 sophomore Blake Bartschi. On the guard line, players like Junior Gonzalez, Colby Hunter, Garrett Remington, Tyler Barney, and Cody Tucker will hope to provide stability and solid play.
If there is anything that Coach Pope has focused on in the early going for his team, it's defense.
"There were two areas last season that we struggled with defensively: our transition defense and defensive rebounding," Pope said. "Both of those weaknesses tend to give the opponent easy baskets, so we are working hard to try to improve these areas."
A good measuring stick for South Fremont will come when conference play opens. Teams in the Mountain Rivers Conference tend to be playing their best ball when the conference schedule rolls around, which is the final six games of the regular season.
"We have a very tough conference. You just don't get an easy game in this conference. Every conference game is must-see," said Pope.
If the team comes together the way that Pope envisions, the Cougars could be playing for a lot longer following the Feb. 13 conclusion to the regular season.