Blackfoot High School
Conference: 4A District 5-6 Conference
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Head Coach: Cody Shelley
Years as Head Coach: 2nd Season
Previous Experience: 15 years at Century
Record Last Year: 5-17
C Jarod Greene (Sr)
Returning Players with Honors:
Greene (2nd Team All-Conference
Written by: Will Hoenike
For whatever reason, sometimes a school filled with good athletes just hits a dry spell in certain sports.
Take Blackfoot for example. One of the premier football programs in the state of Idaho – any level – has had a hard time duplicating that success in the basketball gym. The Broncos were 5-17 last season and had just one win the season before that and produced just four victories during the 2013-14 campaign.
Head coach Cody Shelley, in his second season after a successful run at Century High School, is working alongside his staff to get the basketball program closer to the levels of the successful football program. And he’s doing it in what some would consider to be an unconventional method.
In a game that is becoming increasingly up-tempo and driven by the three-point shot, Shelley will lean on senior center Jarod Greene to provide a strong inside game for the Broncos this season. The All-Conference honoree is expected to shoulder a big load for the Broncos. True to form, the senior dominated the paint in Blackfoot’s season-opening, two-point overtime loss to 5A Bonneville. He scored 11 points and had more than six blocked shots before fouling out as the Broncos hung right with a tough Bees team that is expected to be a factor in the 5A High Country Conference.
Rhys Pope also scored 11 for Blackfoot in the game, including a pair of three-pointers, and Scott Cannon chipped in seven points and one three-point shot.
Despite the loss, the outcome seems to support what a lot of people seem to be thinking – that there are better days ahead for Blackfoot. That’s something Shelley told The Preview he was looking forward to this season, “Improving from last season.”
The Broncos host four consecutive home games to close out the 2016 calendar year and it’s a tough stretch, with three of the four being against 5A opponents, including a tilt against the defending 5A state-champion Highland Rams on December 14.
Will Blackfoot challenge Preston and Pocatello for the top of the conference? We’ll all have to wait and see together about that one. But, with a dominating post presence and a developing perimeter game, there’s no reason why Blackfoot shouldn’t make a solid jump in wins over last season’s total of five. And, with the length of the basketball season, it’s all about peaking at the right time. If Coach Shelley and his staff (assistants Jacob Harris and Mark Pettinger) can continue to groom and develop this team, there’s no rule that says they can’t be in the mix once the District Tournament rolls around in February.