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Weekend Preview (Aug. 19 - 20)
An appetizing spread of soccer matches kick off the first official weekend of competition
Published: 8/19/2022 7:52:16 AM


Written by: Christian Weaner


Coeur d’Alene vs. Rigby

7 p.m. Mountain Time Friday

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Coeur d’Alene and 5A defending state champion Rigby will meet for a “Zero Week” contest that is sure to have postseason implications for two of the premier football programs in the state. Because nearly 500 miles separate the two schools, head coaches Shawn Amos and Armando Gonzalez agreed to meet halfway in Missoula, Montana, with the game being held at the University of Montana’s Washington-Grizzly Stadium. This will be the first of a two-year agreement between the programs, which have not met since the 2019 5A State Championship game — a double-overtime thriller that saw Rigby come out on top 57-56.


Rocky Mountain at Middleton

7 p.m. Friday

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The Middleton Vikings are making the jump to the 5A ranks for the first time in school history, and they will start their new journey in the daunting Southern Idaho Conference (SIC) Foothills Division by hosting powerhouse Rocky Mountain. Led by head coach Chris Culig, Rocky Mountain boasts one of the best rosters in the state — 14 starters are returning from last year, including the entire offensive line — and the Grizzlies will be hungry this season after an early exit in the 2021 state playoffs. However, if anyone can come up with a scheme to slow down the high-powered Rocky Mountain offense, it will be Middleton head coach Bill Brock, who is entering his 23rd season at the helm for the Vikings.


Thunder Ridge at Minico

7 p.m. Friday

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Friday night will mark the beginning of Michael Berger’s head coaching career and his first game on the sidelines for Thunder Ridge. Berger, son of longtime Skyline head coach Scott Berger, will have his hands full preparing his squad for a Minico team that went undefeated in the 2021 regular season and returns 34 upperclassmen. This matchup will be key for both programs, as the Titans begin a new chapter under Berger and the Spartans look to bounce back from a shocking first-round exit in last season’s state playoffs.


Boise vs. Timberline (Boise)

11 a.m. Saturday

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If you are looking for a Saturday matinee featuring some of the up-and-coming talent in the SIC, then look no further than this rivalry matchup between the Boise Brave and Timberline Wolves at Dona Larsen Park. Brave head coach Mike Altieri is entering his third season, and he looks to continue the rebuilding process at Boise, where his team will be led by a young core of returners from last season. Meanwhile, Timberline, led by head coach Ian Smart is hoping to build upon a 5-4 season last year, despite the loss of several key offensive players from 2021.


Eagle at Meridian

7 p.m. Friday

Two of the SIC’s finest will face off Friday when Eagle travels to Meridian in a battle of 2021 5A State semifinalists. The Warriors lost a heartbreaker 54-49 to the eventual state champion Rigby last year, while the Mustangs fell 29-27 to Highland thanks to a last-minute field goal that ended their playoff run. Both teams will reload at several key positions but with talented rosters coming back, Eagle and Meridian are shaping up to be state contenders once again in 2022. Last year, Eagle edged Meridian 24-23 at home, so the Warriors will be hungry for some payback as they open the season on their home turf.


Lakeland vs. Preston

5 p.m. Mountain Time Friday

Lakeland and Preston will meet halfway for a game in Butte, Montana, at Montana State University for the second straight season, but this year two new head coaches will walk the sidelines for the Hawks and Indians, respectively. This season will be the first time since the 1970’s that someone not named Kiefer will be leading the Hawks onto the field, as Mike Schroeder will make his debut at Lakeland, taking over for 18-year head coach Tim Kiefer (Tim succeeded his father, Terry Kiefer, who coached at Lakeland from 1980-2002). At Preston, Craig Cunningham will take over a team that finished 6-4 in 2021 but lost several key players. Last season, the Indians squeaked out a 7-6 victory over the Hawks in a slugfest, and this year both teams will look to earn their first-year head coach a victory as they kick things off in 2022.



Bishop Kelly at Timberline (Boise) — 6 p.m. Friday

Borah at Timberline (Boise) — 6 p.m. Saturday

The defending 5A state champion Timberline Wolves boys soccer team will have their hands full to open the 2022 regular season this weekend. Friday evening, they host the 2021 4A state champions Bishop Kelly in a match between two of the best teams in the state. Then, Saturday evening, the Borah Lions — 2021 SIC runner-up and 5A State Consolation champions — will make the trip across town to face the defending champs. The Wolves will look to begin their state title defense this weekend, led by six returning all-state players from last season, including first team selections Ben Anderson, Kai Hatten and Jake Anderson.


Sugar-Salem at Preston

4 p.m. Friday

The defending 4A state champion Sugar-Salem Diggers will open the 2022 season with a trip to Preston to take on the 2021 South East Idaho Conference (SEIC) champion Indians. In 2021, Sugar-Salem posted an impressive 18-3 record en route to the state title, but two of those three defeats came at the hands of Preston. The Diggers will look for revenge, while Preston hopes to build upon their 10-8-2 record from last season. Despite winning the SEIC regular season and district tournament championships, the Indians went two-and-out at the state tournament, a showing they hope to improve upon in 2022.


Teton at Marsh Valley

1 p.m. Saturday

The Teton boys soccer team will make the trek down to Arimo Saturday to take on Marsh Valley in their 2022 season opener. The Timberwolves edged the Eagles 4-3 last October in a 3A state play-in match and went on to earn a third-place finish at the state tournament. Both teams have state playoff aspirations once again this season, and Saturday’s game will be a good test to begin the year.


Sandpoint at Lake City

10 a.m. Saturday

Two of North Idaho’s best will meet in Coeur d’Alene this Saturday in what should be a highly competitive season-opening match. Lake City only lost two matches in 2021, finishing with an impressive 18-2-1 record. The only problem: both losses came in the state tournament, leading to a disappointing fourth place finish for a Timberwolves team that entered the 5A bracket as the No. 1 seed. This year, Lake City hopes to dominate the combined 4A/5A Inland Empire League once again. However, Sandpoint, the 2021 4A state runner-up, will have something to say about that. The Bulldogs return a solid core of players who are also looking to get over the hump this year in the state tournament.


Thunder Ridge at Canyon Ridge

11 a.m. Saturday

Last season, the Thunder Ridge Titans and Canyon Ridge Riverhawks both made impressive postseason runs in their respective district and state tournaments. Thunder Ridge upset Madison to win the 2021 High Country Conference championship, while Canyon Ridge earned the second Great Basin Conference state playoff seed and went on to win the 4A State Consolation championship. The Titans and Riverhawks both have high hopes in 2022, and a season-opening victory would go a long way toward achieving those goals.


Madison at Hillcrest

11 a.m. Saturday

Madison and Hillcrest each entered their 2021 district tournaments as No. 1 seeds, and both were upset by lower seeds in the championship round. Similarly, the Bobcats and Knights suffered back-to-back one-goal losses that cut their respective state tournament runs short. Fueled by the disappointment of last season, Madison and Hillcrest are hoping to take a step forward this season.


Boise at Rocky Mountain

11:30 a.m. Saturday

On Saturday morning, the 2021 5A state runner-up Boise Brave will travel to face last season’s state third place finisher Rocky Mountain. The Brave and Grizzlies are both looking to remain at the top of the highly competitive SIC this season, making this matchup a pivotal start to each team’s 2022 resume.



 Lake City at Sandpoint

4 p.m. Friday

Lake City and Sandpoint each lost only one match in 2021. For the Timberwolves, that loss came in the season opener against…guess who? Sandpoint. After losing 1-0 to open the season, Lake City would not lose again, eventually earning the 5A state championship. Sandpoint, on the other hand, finished a perfect 12-0 in the 2021 regular season and looked poised for a deep playoff run before a stunning 1-0 loss to Moscow in the Inland Empire League (IEL) championship game. This season, both teams look to remain at the top of the food chain in North Idaho.


Pocatello vs. Highland (Pocatello)

4:30 p.m. Friday

Twin Falls vs. Highland (Pocatello)

11 a.m. Saturday

After posting a perfect regular season record in 2021, the Highland Rams lost to Lake City in the 5A state semifinals and ended with a disappointing fourth place finish. The 2022 Rams are once again shaping up to be the class of Eastern Idaho girls soccer, but their road back to this year’s state tournament will begin with back-to-back games against two of the best 4A teams in the state — crosstown foe Pocatello and 2021 4A state champions Twin Falls. Last season, Highland knocked off Twin Falls 6-1 in an opening weekend matchup. The Bruins have not lost since that game, rattling off 20 straight wins en route to the state championship and never allowing more than one goal in a match. After a 4-1 defeat against Highland early in the 2021 season, Pocatello went on to win the SEIC and post a respectable showing at the state tournament. As the new season begins, both the Bruins and Thunder will look for some revenge against the Rams this weekend.


Timberline (Boise) at Bishop Kelly

6 p.m. Friday

Just like on the boys side, the girls soccer matchup between Timberline and Bishop Kelly should be an exciting showcase of two of the top teams in Southern Idaho. The Wolves and Knights both made impressive postseason runs in 2021, and each team will reload this year with talented athletes across the field. Timberline won the 5A State Consolation Championship last season, and the Wolves are looking to remain competitive in the stacked 5A SIC again this year. Bishop Kelly, on the other hand, took care of business in the 2021 4A SIC District Tournament, and gave Twin Falls a run for their money in the state semifinals, losing 1-0 in overtime. This year, the Knights will be led by Boise State commit Lexi Chatterton and junior Sophie Schmautz.


Teton at Marsh Valley

11 a.m. Saturday

Teton will travel down to Marsh Valley this weekend in the first of two matches this season between the Timberwolves and Eagles. Both teams qualified for the 3A State Tournament in 2021, as Marsh Valley dominated the SEIC and Teton earned a play-in spot and made a run to the third-place game, where they fell 5-4 in overtime to conference rival Sugar-Salem. This season, the Eagles return 2021 all-state selections Camri Campbell and Kamailee Singh while the Timberwolves will reload and look to keep pace with the Diggers in the Mountain Rivers Conference. Last year, Teton and Marsh Valley split their season series, with each team winning on the other’s home field. The Timberwolves and Eagles will both look to start their 2022 campaigns with a notch in the win column when they face off Saturday morning.


Rocky Mountain at Boise

11:30 a.m. Saturday

Last season, Rocky Mountain won every game against in-state competition the entire season…except for one game: the state semifinals. In that match, the Boise Brave avenged their 2-0 regular season loss to the Grizzlies, beating Rocky Mountain in penalty kicks to advance to the 5A State Championship game. Boise’s run came to an end in the finals against Lake City, but that upset win over the Grizzlies may have been the highlight of the team’s season. For Rocky Mountain, that loss is the fuel driving them as they prepare for a season-opening rematch with the Brave this weekend. The defending SIC regular season and tournament champion Grizzlies have some big shoes to fill this year, however, as they lost five 2021 all-state players to graduation, including 5A Player of the Year Violet Rademacher. Boise, meanwhile, returns a talented and experienced group — including four all-state selections from last season — and hopes to challenge for supremacy in the district and state in 2022. The road back to the 5A state playoffs begins this weekend as the Brave host the Grizzlies on Saturday. 


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