Riverstone International School
Conference: 1AD1 Western Idaho Conference
Classification: 1A D1
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Head Coach: Eric Chapman
Years as Head Coach: 6th Season
Previous Experience: Eight years professional, one year college, 20 years professional scout
Record Last Year: 14-9
Sam Cole (Sr)
Carl Dowell (Sr)
Jack Goltry (Sr)
Alex Macha (Sr)
Ben Menzner (Sr)
Dedi Seme (Sr)
Joshua Hanson-Kaplan (Jr)
Gavin Schorzman (Jr)
Orior Benner (Soph)
Jeremy Moyett (Soph)
Returning Players with Honors:
Dedi Seme, 1st-team All Western Idaho Conference
Written by: Will Hoenike
If you take out a stretch of six games bridging the holiday break for Riverstone International School last season, a stretch that saw the Otters lose four of six games, it would have been one heck of a season.
Take out those six and head coach Eric Chapman’s team would have been 12-5, with two of those losses coming to eventual 1A Division I state champion Ambrose.
Not bad, eh?
Alas, you can’t pick and choose which portions of your schedule count and no one knows that better than Chapman – the former professional basketball coach who also spent 20 years as a pro scout. That also makes him the right guy to take the successes of last season and build on them in 2016-17.
The Otters reached the 1A Division I play-in game at Highland (Craigmont) High School, where a win would have propelled the squad into the State Tournament. But they came up just short, falling to Genesee. Now … to finish the climb and reach the State Tournament at Vallivue High School (and, if all goes well, the Idaho Center for Championship Saturday).
Seem far-fetched? Some might think so. But other coaches in the Western Idaho Conference are not overlooking the Otters this winter. Most seem willing to put Riverstone in a hat with Liberty Charter and Ambrose, shake it up and see how it falls out when it comes to forecasting the top of the WIC this season.
A big part of it is Chapman – his experience and knowledge can’t be overstated – but Riverstone also returns a ton of experience from a team that was knocking on the tourney’s door last season. All those players with another year of experience, growth and practice along with Chapman’s experience? You can see why some think Riverstone is a big-time sleeper to pay attention to.
Chapman returns All-WIC performer Dedi Seme. The senior is primed for a breakout season but has plenty of support. Fellow seniors Alex Macha, Sam Cole, Carl Dowell, Jack Goltry and Ben Menzner give Riverstone a deep class to lead off the roster. Add to that juniors Joshua Hanson-Kaplan and Gavin Schorzman along with sophomores Orion Benner and Jeremy Moyett and Chapman has plenty of options for playing time when the Otters take the court.
Riverstone will participate in the Nampa Christian Holiday Tournament along with the hosts, Payette and North Star Charter in December before opening Western Idaho Conference play at Greenleaf Friends Academy on January 6. The team faces defending state champion Ambrose once during the regular season, January 13 at Ambrose, and also plays at Liberty Charter on January 24.
Could those teams meet again in the district tournament in mid-February? Yes. Could they find themselves on the court together in early March at the State Tournament?
Don’t sleep on the Otters.