Ririe High School
Conference: 2A Nuclear Conference
Head Coach: Eric Torgerson
Years as Head Coach: 2nd season
Previous Experience: Head Coach Ririe Boys 2002-2008
Record Last Year: 3-19
State Titles: 1990
Jake Wilson Post Senior 6’3
Zack Gamett Post Senior 6’2
Cody Slayden Guard Senior 5’7
Shakoda Proctor Guard Senior 5’7
Javier Garcia Guard Senior 5’10
Written by: Matt Harris
The Ririe Bulldogs boys basketball has had a few down seasons as of late.
But with a new 'old' coach coach and a new perspective, the Bulldogs are looking to return to competitiveness and respectability.
Eric Torgerson returns to the sidelines in Ririe this year after taking a hiatus from the Bulldogs sidelines since 2008. Torgerson had previously coached in Ririe from 2002-08. And his first order of business: establishing a culture of unselfishness.
"It's our X-Factor to the season," Torgerson said. "With a few down years, negativity creeps in. We are getting past that and are playing for each other."
Last year, the Bulldogs went 3-19 overall, including 0-8 in conference play. They didn't have much success the year before either, going 0-22 in 2012-13.
But Torgerson believes he has a good balance of returning players and underclassmen to improve on those records.
Ririe has five seniors returning to the program this season, including post players Jake Wilson and Zack Gamett. On the guard line, Cody Slayden, Shakoda Proctor, and Javier Garcia are back for the Bulldogs.
Joining the varsity the ranks this year will be Kobe Nelson, a junior forward whom Torgerson desribes as a 'stretch four'. Robbie Schid underneath the hoop will combo with join Wilson and Gamett. Joining the trio of senior guards will be sophomores Dylan Anglesey and Andy Bowden.
Torgerson hopes that his team can gel quickly and buckle down defensively from the start of the year.
"Defense was one of our biggest weaknesses last year. We aren't the quickest team, so we may play more zone than we'd like," he said. "We're also looking for our bigs to do a better job of boarding."
Offensively, Torgerson said things are already looking up.
"We will have a better ability to control the offensive tempo this year thanks to an offseason of maturing," he said. "Last year, impatience on offense was a weakness. We are more well-rounded on offense this year."
In the competitive Nuclear Conference, Torgerson knows that to earn one of the two berths available for the state tournament, his team will have to develop quickly. He also acknowledged the defending state champions of the conference are not going to be easy to take down.
"We also enjoy getting a chance to beat Firth," he said. "They are the top dog, with an excellent coach (in Scott Adams). Competing against them makes us better."
With two matchups against the Cougars this season, look to see the progression of the Bulldogs in those games to see how far along they have come.