Snake River Conference Preview
3. Raft River
4. Glenns Ferry
Written by Seiji Wood
Oakley enters into the 2019-20 season as the favorites in the Snake River Conference coaches poll. The Hornets went 15-10 last year and keep a majority of the team with nine players returning, including First-Team All-Conference point guard Chandler Jones.
“The team will have balanced scoring, good strong defenders,” said Oakley Head Coach Jeff Bedke. “We will lack in size this year but will make up for it in energy and effort.”
Oakley did lose three post players in Gannon Critchfield, Slater Sagers and Austin Bedke. But with a deep bench, Oakley will be able to have a good rotation to keep players healthy and fresh throughout the year.
A team that may not have the luxury of returning players and a deep bench is Valley. However, the team still managed to land second in the coaches poll.
Valley had a great season last year, going 19-6, but the Vikings lost nine seniors, all five starters, and only have two players returning in Garrett Christensen and Gavin Hyde. Despite the youth and inexperience in the team, Head Coach Brian Hardy is very optimistic about the upcoming season.
“I feel like we have some excellent, skilled young men that nobody knows their name, face, number, or anything about,” Hardy said. “This is a good passing group, very unselfish. We will find out how tough and physical these young guys can become.”
The third team in the coaches poll is Raft River. Most coaches deemed them as the team that could surprise the conference. Last year, the Trojans were right in the middle of the pack going 12-12. This year, they look to get over the hump and compete in the conference. Raft River has five players returning and two with honors in Ryan Spaeth and Justin Schumann, who earned second and first-team all-district honros, respectively.
“I am excited to see how this young team comes together,” said Head Coach Mark Stordahl.
Shoshone and Glenns Ferry round out the bottom of the conference but can’t be overlooked.
Glenns Ferry ended last season with an 18-5 record. The team lost their leading scorer, Wacey Williams, and only return two players in Kody Hensley, who earned All-Conference honors, and Tanner Martinez. However, Head Coach of Glenns Ferry Nate Jones has confidence in his team.
“Two returning starters could be the best in our conference at what they do best, scoring and defense,” Jones said. “And our incoming JV players are committed and talented.”
Shoshone also returns nine players like Oakley. The team finished with a 6-14 record last year but looks to improve this season. Head Coach for Shoshone, Garr Ward, emphasized his team’s desire to compete.
“There are increased roles for all players,” Ward said. “A determination to compete and improve from last year.”