Valley High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Brian Hardy
Years as Head Coach: 3rd
Previous Experience: Valley Varsity Girls for 14 seasons
Record Last Year: 14-9
State Titles: 2A Champions in 2001
Written by: Sven Alskog
After dueling it out in the 2A’s for years, the Valley Vikings will be moving into the 1AD1 Snake River Conference this season, hoping to continue the success seen within the program.
Last season the Vikings went 14-9 during a tough schedule featuring plenty of 2A and 3A schools. While playing games against 1A competition, Valley went 8-3, something which they hope will foreshadow more wins this year as they move into that level full time.
The squad is led by third year Head Coach Brian Hardy. Also the Athletic Director, Hardy previously coached the girls team at Valley for 14 seasons.
On the floor plenty of talent returns, including two All-Conference honorees in senior Cole Lickley and junior Ben Taylor, both of whom are also key playmakers on the football team. Both are versatile playmakers who should continue to bring a scoring punch for the Vikings while leading the unit on the defensive end.
Along with Lickley and Taylor, a strong junior class of Garrett Mussmann, Doug Elorrieta and Jacob Henry all returns.
Adding to the talent pool, newcomers Taylor Coates, Jesus Mora and Jake Nelson, all juniors, will receive plenty of playing time to show what they are capable of.
The returning talent should make the transition to varsity fairly seamless for the incoming players.
“[We have a] great returning core group of players, four starters, with a lot of varsity experience,” stated Hardy. “[A] good balance of bigs and guards.”
While the Vikings find much of their success pushing the tempo and getting their talented guards out in the open floor, the coach hopes to see a continued emphasis on running the offense out of sets.
“We will push the ball up the court, but also continue to work on our half court execution,” said Hardy.
On the other end, expect a swarming defense from Valley, looking to take advantage of the mistakes of the opposition.
“We hope to be versatile in our defenses and be able to pressure the ball full court and half court,” Hardy added.
With the transition into a new conference ahead of them, it will be important for the Vikings to get off to a strong start this season to build confidence prior to those games. Last season Valley did just that, beginning the year 8-2, only falling to an eventual 1AD1 state tournament team in Glenns Ferry and a 3A squad in Kimberly by a combined six points.