Sugar-Salem High School Team Bio
Head Coach: Shawn Freeman
Years as Head Coach: 7
Previous Experience: JV/Freshman from 2007-12
Record Last Year: 18-9
State Titles: 1962, 1973, 1993, 1994, 2017, 2019
Troy Sakota, Caleb Carter, Tyler Beddes, Kirk Smith, Bryant Harris, Garren Shakespeare
Returning Players with Honors:
Hadley Miller, First-Team All-State Second Team-All-Conference Tanner Harris, First-Team All-Conference
Kyler Handy First-Team All-Conference
Pasen Michaelson, Second-Team All-Conference
Crew Clark Honorable Mention
Key Players lost from last year:
Incoming impact players:
Keayen Nead, P, Sr. JV team
Rylan Bean, PG, Sr. Varsity
Sam Parkinson, G, Sr.
3. South Fremont
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tag Bair, South Fremont
Jace Neville, South Fremont
Luke Thompson, Teton
Carson Reiley, Teton
Harrison Moulton, Teton
Hadley Miller, Sugar-Salem
Tanner Harris, Sugar-Salem
Kyler Handy, Sugar-Salem
Pasen Michaelson, Sugar-Salem
3A Mountain Rivers Conference Preview
Written by Brandon Hill
If there’s one thing coaches in the 3A Mountain Rivers Conference can agree on, it’s that 2019-2020 might be the most competitive race in years.
“The three teams will battle and it’s probably the most competitive conference we’ve had since 2015-2016, when all four teams tied for first in the regular season,” said South Fremont head coach Ryon Pope.
Had the Mountain Rivers received more seeds to state last year, there could have been a good chance multiple teams could have made deep runs into the playoffs. But with just one spot reserved, Sugar-Salem exceled with its opportunity to represent, winning tournament games against Timberlake, Kimberly and Fruitland to take home the 2018-2019 title.
With an 18-9 record last year, head coach Shawn Freeman said he expects no hesitation from his large group of seniors to get right back into the playoffs this year.
“I’m most excited about the speed and athleticism of this group and their high level to compete. We bring back a heavy senior class,” Freeman said. “Hadley Miller is our floor general. Tanner Harris brings so many intangibles to the table. Crew Clark will help us with his quickness and shooting. Kyler Handy will man the middle. Rylan Bean and Sam Parkinson will contribute a lot.”
But the Diggers will compete without the help of some of the players that helped their team take home last year’s trophy, with Gerohm Rihari, Curtis Drake and Brysen Barr all graduating in the spring. Nevertheless, Freeman said the pure heart and determination the 2019-2020 Diggers is some of the best he’s seen in his seven years with the team.
“This team has a lot of similarities to last year, since we have a large portion back,” he said. “What makes this team different is their willingness to put full effort in all that they do. They love to be challenged.”
Despite the Diggers earning all the glory a year ago, Teton and South Fremont look to have enough pieces in place to seriously compete for the conference title. Teton finished 12-9 last season and returns three players with all-conference honors in Luke Thompson, Carson Reiley and Harrison Moulton.
Head coach Robert Heauseveldt will need all of their offensive firepower to be on display, as the Redskins lost their leading scorer, Satchel Heinen, to graduation.
“This years team has a lot of experience and great chemistry. We have seven of our core players from last year that are back and have put a lot of time in during the summer months to improve their game,” he said. “We have good senior leadership with a good supporting junior class with a lot of experience.”
Heauseveldt said his team does their best work inside the paint, slowing down the tempo and controlling the pace with strong play up the lanes.
“This year's team is better balanced offensively and has a lot more experience than last year’s team,” he said.
Coming in a very close third place in the preseason coaches poll, South Fremont completed the Mountain Rivers’ winning season, earning a 13-11 record by the time January rolled around. Pope said he expects this year's team to be as balanced as any squad he’s coached in his 8 years with the Cougars.
“We have a nice combination of size and speed. Our outside shooting improved last year and should improve more this year,” Pope said. “Defensively, we will be a little quicker and more aggressive than last year. We played pretty well last summer and we had a lot of good chemistry on and off the court.”
With a deep bench featuring 10 players all capable of starting if needed, Pope said he wants his players to play aggressively on both ends of the court, with fast, effective shooting. Tag Bair and Jace Neville, all-conference selections from last season, will look to lead that charge.
“As far as areas to focus, we need to make sure we are mentally strong and prepared for the end of the season because the Mountain Rivers Conference is very difficult this year,” Pope said.