1ADI Western Idaho Conference Preview
Written by Meredith Spelbring
Players to Watch
Kimberly Arias, Wilder
Kambrei Frank, Victory Charter
Madison Hodnett, Liberty Charter
Kylah Fillmore, Greenleaf Friends Academy
Sintia Varela, Rimrock
Mary Meeks, North Star Charter
Heading into the fall 2020 season, teams within 1ADI are looking to continue to grow and build off the successes of seasons past.
One of those teams looking to capitalize on past success is the Wilder Wildcats, who put forth one of their better efforts in more than a decade during 2019-2020.
Head Coach Juan Arias said the Wildcats overcame a more than decade-long drought of not making districts, but snapped that streak.
“Last year was our most successful year in about 15 years, we hadn’t made it to districts in many years. We were able to overcome that last year,” Arias said. “I am looking forward to making it farther in districts this year.”
The team lost several key players to graduation, but have strong returning athletes waiting in the wings to help build on last year’s success and maybe surprise a few teams along the way.
“I feel like we will surprise a few teams, last year we had some seniors but I felt our younger players performed well,” Arias said. “With another year for them to mature and with the leadership of our seniors we are looking to improve our standings in the conference.”
For the Victory Charter Vipers, building on past success will rely on a strong core of returning senior talent.
Of the seniors returning, the team will look to senior forward/post/guard Kambrei Frank. Frank was All-Conference honorable mention her freshman year and Second-Team All-Conference for both her sophomore and junior seasons.
While the team has a solid group of returning talent, head coach Mandy Frank hopes the team will improve its scoring abilities to carry them through the year.
“We struggled with scoring,” Frank said. “I’m hoping to have more girls taking good shots and spreading the scoring out a little more.”
Growth for the Greenleaf Friends Academy Grizzlies will rely on the growth and improvement of athletes coming up from the junior varsity team to the varsity squad.
After an impressive 2019 season from the JV team, head coach Karri Fisk is hoping the new players will carry their success to the varsity team.
“We pride ourselves in playing tough team defense,” Fisk said. “Our kids work hard in practice and are great teammates. We spend a lot of time on skill development and getting all of our kids to be able to contribute to the team’s success.”
While many teams work to adjust after losing key players to graduation, the Liberty Charter Patriots will focus on carrying out success from last year with the same squad.
And leading the helm for the Patriots will be decorated senior forward Madison Hodnett.
Hodnett returns to the team as reigning MVP and No. 1 defensive player of the 2020 state tournament.
And she’s not the only star power the team will have this season. Senior guard Grace Gerdes was selected as First-Team All-Conference and junior guard Ainsley Johnson was an honorable mention, and both will return to the lineup for Liberty Charter.
The 2020 season is a blank slate for the North Star Charter Huskies, who start the year with a brand new group of coaches, including first-year head coach Tiffany Doskeland.
Doskeland comes in with assistant coaches Kenny Rolfe and Sarah Sandberg.
The Huskies finished the 2019 season with eight wins under their belt and plan to increase the number of wins this year through perfected technique, but maintained grit and hustle.
“Last year we were able to win 8 games, we were able to win those games through grit and hustle,” she said. “We had great defense during our games. This year our team will be focused on keeping our grit and determination at an upbeat and exciting pace.”
The Notus High School Pirates have kicked off the season with a 2-0 start under head coach Brad Hunter.
The Rimrock Raiders, led by head coach Kyla Jewett, are off to a 1-1 start to the year after opening the season with a 55-39 win over Richfield, but followed it with a loss to Tri-Valley Titans.
The Idaho City Wildcats, lead by head coach Tara Watson, are off to a winning start with a 52-16 win against Gem State, but have yet to play another game.
Head coach Gary Bale and his Gem State Academy Jaguars are still looking to get themselves off the ground after two back-to-back losses in their opening games against Idaho City and Compass Charter.
Centennial Baptist High School will look to grow this season with head coach Sara Fuentes.