Richfield High School
Conference: 1AD2 Sawtooth Conference
Classification: 1A D2
Head Coach: Buck Hendren
Years as Head Coach: 4th season
Previous Experience: Boys JV 15 years, Boys Freshman 1 year
Record Last Year: 18-4
State Titles: 1979,2007,2009,2010
Photo By: Steve Conner - #33 April Wood
Written by: Sven Alskog
Consistently the primary competition to the Dietrich Lady Devils in the 1AD2 North Side Conference, the Richfield Tigers are looking to bounce back after a disappointing finish last season to get back to the state tournament this year.
Following an 18-4 season, what stood out rather than the record were two late season losses to upstart Lighthouse Christian which caused the Tigers to miss the state tournament in hard-luck fashion for the second year in a row.
In 2014-2015 the group put together by fourth year Head Coach Buck Hendren appears poised to burst back onto the scene at state come February.
Plenty of young talent was on display last year for the Tigers, all coming together for what was a great regular season. The challenge now will be to carry that on come district tournament play and potentially state.
The group is led by a strong junior class which received plenty of playing time last season.
In the backcourt Mariah Lezamiz and Taylor King will be expected to lead the way again after proving they are more than capable of filling up the state sheet last season, while also playing shutdown defense.
Lezamiz was First Team All-Conference while April Wood took home Second Team All-Conference honors. King was an Honorable Mention.
After losing forward Sam Edwards to graduation, Richfield will rely on Wood down low to try to offset the loss. Wood has already made a large contribution at the varsity level the last couple of years and will be one of the more talented players in the North Side Conference this time around.
Hannah Walker and Monce Rivas were listed as key newcomers by coach Hendren.
Overall seven players with varsity experience return, all of which have bought in to the defense-first mindset that the Tigers employ.
What stands out about Richfield on paper is its ability to plug anyone on their roster into playing time and see success come out of it. The depth will help when playing tough conference games against Dietrich and Lighthouse Christian, the latter of which found that having a short bench hurt them at points during the previous season.
Within the North Side Conference it is feasible to see three of the top five teams in the state of Idaho for 1AD2 in Dietrich, Lighthouse Christian and Richfield, preparing all three well for the big stage in February.
The Lady Devils have taken the previous four state titles and return their star player and 1AD2 Player of the Year Jacey Shaw.
It should be a wide-open conference race this year, going down to the wire. Except Richfield to be one of the teams featured in that race.