Fruitland High School
Conference: 3A Snake River Valley Conference
Head Coach: Mike Fitch
Years as Head Coach: 17th Season
Previous Experience: 1 year varsity assistant at Hillcrest and Fruitland
Record Last Year: 7-17
State Titles: 1980, 2008, 2011, 2012
DaMetri Weatherall, G, 12
Walker Shalet, G, 12
Conner Benear, G, 12
Kennon Smith, F, 12
Dexter Hershey, F, 12
Josh Richins, F, 12
Tyler Eiguren, F, 11
Wyatt Dennison, F, 11
Returning Players with Honors:
Tyler Eiguren, first-team all-conference
Conner Benear honorable mention
“Key Players” lost from last year:
Jerred Seamons, F, leadership and toughness
Written by: David Bashore
For Fruitland High School, a 7-17 basketball season is definitely not the norm of late. But at the end of the day, the Grizzlies came good late, made it to state and played for a trophy. That is the norm for Fruitland, but the Grizzlies will be hoping for even better things in 2015-16.
Fruitland returns eight players, including six seniors. They are swingman/forward-heavy, led by returning first-team all-conference selection Tyler Eiguren, a junior. Other impact players could come up from the program’s pipeline as the buildup to the season unfolds.
The advantages the Grizzlies hold are the same as they have been the last decade or so: depth, physicality and flexibility. Fruitland has a bevy of players capable of playing multiple positions on the offensive end, though the team will need to play faster and more confidently in order to improve the team scoring on a consistent basis all season.
On the defensive side of the floor the Grizzlies have plenty of bodies to throw at opponents in a full-court man pressure defense. Physicality and aggressiveness should lead to plenty of turnovers and extra opportunities for Fruitland to score, but the team will have to make sure it’s effective without fouling unnecessarily.
Overall things are looking up for Fruitland, which had great participation in the summer and is able to channel its stable of players into giving itself an edge in the area for which the Grizzlies have been known for the last decade or so. A tough non-conference schedule including Skyview, home-and-home with Bishop Kelly and participating in the Nampa Christmas Tournament should set the stage for Fruitland to be successful in a balanced, brutal Snake River Valley Conference campaign.