Preston High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
Head Coach: Tyler Jones
Years as Head Coach: 6th Season
Record Last Year: 19-5
State Titles: 1946, 1968, 1989, 1990, 2001
Brent Knapp, Matt Shumway, Shae Neal
6'5" guard Austin Smellie, senior
6'1" guard Sawyer Jensen, senior
6'6" center Brayden Parker, sophomore
Returning Players with Honors:
Austin Smellie- 1st Team All-State, 1st Team All-Conference
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Kyle Lords and RJ Harris
Incoming “impact” players:
6'4" forward, Tyler Wakley, senior
5'10" PG, Derek Wadsworth, sophomore
6'0" wing, Jaden Panter, senior
Written by: Sven Alskog
There was a sour taste left in the mouth for Preston last season after being ranked in the top five of the media poll, primarily in the top spot, for the majority of the year and falling short of a state tournament berth.
Back-to-back losses to Rigby and Century in the district tournament would end the season for the Indians, with the losses coming by a combined eight points.
Entering the new year Preston will need to find a way to replace a couple of key player losses in the form of 6'6" big man Kyle Lords and scoring threat RJ Harris.
Fortunately for Head Coach Tyler Jones, the Indians have plenty of scoring threats, led by senior guard Austin Smellie, a First Team All-Idaho selection last season. The 6'5" Smellie will be joined by 6'6" sophomore center Brayden Parker to give Preston enough size to matchup well with some of the bigger teams in the 4A classification.
The inexperience of the team will be the primary challenge, especially early in the season.
"[We] lost four starters and only return one player with significant varsity experience," said Jones.
With the good size, Jones hopes to see continued improvement on the defensive end, with Preston's length looking to cause problems for its opponents.
On the offensive end it is all about executing the offense.
"We want to play hard and execute on offense," said Jones. "On defense, hold teams to one shot and be aggressive and active."
Multiple key players from within the conference from Rigby and Century have moved on following graduation, leaving the field wide-open this season.
While each team does have key returners, it will be all about which newcomers step into the roles vacated from last season best.