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Sugar-Salem High School

School Info
Conference: 3A Mountain Rivers Conference
Classification: 3A

Head Coach: Shawn Freeman

Years as Head Coach: 4th Season

Record Last Year: 10-10

State Titles: 1962, 1973, 1993, 1994

Assistant Coaches:
Troy Sakota
Caleb Carter
Kirk Smith
Bryant Harris
Justin Schmitt
Paul Hymas
Layton Miller

Returning Athletes:
Hayden Wood, G, 12
Jaron Rose, G, 12
Cameron Garner, G, 12
Luke Holt, G, 12
Parker Miller, W, 12
Junior Gonzalez, G, 12
Taevin Norman, W, 12
Dan Shirley, G, 11
Chandler Pincock, W, 11

Returning Players with Honors:
Parker Miller, All-Conference
Luke Holt, All-Conference

Key Players lost from last year:
Jed Baldwin, P
Bryce Choffin, G

Incoming impact players:
Jaron Rose, G, 12
Hayden Wood, G, 12
Chandler Pincock, W, 11
Team Preview:

Written by: Matt Harris (@IdahoSportsMatt)

‘Uptempo’ is the name of the game for Sugar-Salem in 2016-17.

But, in order to do that, Diggers head coach Shawn Freeman says one this must fall into place.

“We have to play as one,” he said. “That’s the X-Factor to our success.”

Sugar-Salem returns a host of talent this season and Freeman feels that pushing the pace – both on offense and defense – is the best way to draw out the strengths of those team members. With the system Freeman runs, it allows his entire bench to have an impact on the game.

Back in the fold this year are returning guards Hayden Wood, Jaron Rose, Cameron Garner, Luke Holt, Junior Gonzalez, Dan Shirley, and Curtis Drake. On the block, the trio of Chandler Pincock, Parker Miller, and Taevin Norman will look to solidify the front line. All of these players will see time on the floor for the Diggers.

Sugar-Salem graduated a couple of key pieces to last year’s team, including Jed Baldwin and Bryce Choffin.

“Jed was a scorer, rebounder, and a leader,” Freeman said. “Bryce’s outside shooting ability was big for us.”

This year’s edition of the Diggers will feature a lot of speed and quickness. How they harness those talents will largely define the success to their season.

“We have a lot of scorers and want to be more disciplined while playing uptempo,” said Freeman of his offense. “But we need to improving in moving the ball and trading good shots for great ones and to take advantage of mismatch opportunities.”

On the defensive side of the ball, Sugar-Salem will have to work extra hard on the boards – they feature only one player above 6’2”.

“We have to work hard together and rebound,” said Freeman. “Rebounding and communication is our focus.”

The development of chemistry on a team is key to the success of that team. That process can be quick or it can be painstakingly slow. Whichever rate it happens at, the coach is excited to see the process move along.

“I’m excited to see our team and the chemistry on the floor with all working parts together. There is a special bond this team shares,” he said.

If they can keep that chemistry rolling into mid-February, it could result in the Diggers getting a trip to Boise in early March. But, they’ll have to deal with always tough Mountain Rivers Conference in order to get there.

“Shelley is the front runner and South Fremont and Teton lost a lot of key players. But the Mountain Rivers Conference is always strong,” he said.

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