Ririe High School
Conference: 2A Nuclear Conference
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Head Coach: Eric Torgerson
Years as Head Coach: 4th Season
Record Last Year: 11-12
State Titles: 1990
PG Andy Bowden (Sr)
G Dylan Anglesey (Sr)
G Jace Johnson (Jr)
C Matthew Johnson (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Bowden – 1st Team All-Conference
Key Players lost from last year:
W Kobe Nelson
G Braydon Parkinson
Incoming impact players:
SG Michael Ure (Soph)
Written by: Will Hoenike
When you play in the same conference as the team that has won seven of the past ten 2A state titles, it can be easy to wonder if the run will ever end.
“Firth is king until someone knocks them off,” Ririe head coach Eric Torgerson told the Preview. “North (Fremont) is in the mix. West Jefferson picked up an excellent coach (Dave Hadley) … and West Jefferson never quits.”
And then, Torgerson turns to his team and their chances against the Firth Cougars, who have been at the top of the 2A heap for the past decade.
“We believe this is the year to end their reign,” Torgerson said. “They are still kinds and have the best coach in the state, so it would be a huge statement.”
Torgerson has faith in his team. And why wouldn’t he? He returns 1st Team All-Conference point guard Andy Bowden – “Bowden is a top-notch point guard to distribute to posts and shooters,” the coach says of his senior floor general – and three other players expected to eat up heavy minutes for the Bulldogs this coming season. Senior Dylan Anglesey and junior Jace Johnson will join Bowden in the backcourt while senior Matthew Johnson will plug up the middle from the center position.
Add sophomore shooting guard Michael Ure to that quartet and you start to understand Torgerson’s optimism.
“Points per game will be up,” he said of his offense. “Our shooting potential is higher than any team I’ve coached before.”
Torgerson is also happy with the potential of his team’s post defense. Both Ure and Johnson stand 6’6” tall, but it begins outside the key.
“(Our) guards are quicker,” the head coach noted. “And our bench is deep defensively.”
The Bulldogs open the season with five straight home games and then the team will travel up to the Boise area to participate in a tournament at Parma High School over the holiday break. After a final non-conference tune-up at Teton just after the New Year, Ririe will dive head-first into Nuclear Conference action with home games against West Jefferson, Firth and Salmon.
“Winning and seeing the young men take the journey of ups and downs of a basketball season,” Torgerson said when asked about his favorite part of coaching high school basketball. “We will take no one lightly.”
Firth, as Torgerson pointed out, remains the tallest kid in class until someone out-grows them. Is this the year? If Ririe can stay healthy, it’s possible that the optimism of the Coach will be rewarded. The Bulldogs have the look of a contender, a team that can compete for a spot in the 2A State Tournament in March.