District 6 sends 10 teams to state soccer

Hillcrest’s Tofik Haws maintains control of the ball to score in the 5A District 5-6 championship game against Rigby on Oct. 11 at McCowin Park.

The Idaho high school state soccer tournament begins Thursday in the Treasure Valley, and 10 local teams are making the trip west to compete for hardware.

Some are continuing long postseason streaks while others are ending droughts.

Here is a class-by-class look at District 6’s state representatives.

Girls

CLASS 5A

Madison Bobcats (14-1-1): Madison returns to the 5A state tournament for the second consecutive year after defending its 5A District 5-6 championship. The Bobcats’ lone tie is to 4A Skyline and its lone loss is to Highland in the regular season finale. The Bobcats defeated the Rams in the district title game for the second consecutive year.

Madison graduated eight from last year’s 15-3-1 team which fell to Highland in the 5A state consolation final. The Bobcats have recorded six shutouts this season and have allowed no more than four goals in a game. Madison has never won a girls soccer state trophy and has never advanced to the winner’s bracket.

The Bobcats begin the 5A state tournament at 11:30 a.m. Thursday with a match against Mountain View (10-4-4), the No. 3 seed from District 3.

CLASS 4A

Skyline Grizzlies (12-3-2): Skyline beat Preston 2-1 in Saturday’s 4A District 5-6 state play-in game to advance to the postseason for the first time as a 4A school. The same two teams faced each other in last year’s state play-in game, which Preston won 1-0.

The Grizzlies, who have five seniors, have lost to two teams all season: Preston (once) and Century (twice). Their ties came to repeat 5A District 5-6 champion Madison and Pocatello. They have recorded five shutouts and have allowed no more than four goals in a game. Skyline has never won a girls soccer state trophy and has not advanced to the winner’s bracket since 2006.

The Grizzlies begin the 4A state tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday versus District 3 champion Bishop Kelly (19-0-0) at Brothers Park in Caldwell.

CLASS 3A

Shelley Russets (15-2-0): The Russets advance to the 3A state tournament for the sixth consecutive season after winning their third consecutive 3A District 6 championship in penalty kicks over top-seeded Sugar-Salem. Both of Shelley’s losses were to Sugar-Salem.

The Russets have recorded 11 shutouts. Shelley has won three girls soccer state trophies in program history: second place in 2008, third place in 2014 and consolation in 2015. The 2014 season was the Russets’ last appearance in the winner’s bracket.

Shelley begins the 3A state tournament at 2 p.m. Thursday against District 4 runner-up Declo (12-4) at Vallivue High School.

Sugar-Salem Diggers (16-1-1): The Diggers make their first postseason appearance since 2014 upon defeating Malad 4-1 on Saturday’s 3A District 5-6 state play-in game.

Sugar-Salem has the best record of any District 6 girls soccer team. The Diggers entered the 3A District 6 tournament undefeated at 14-0-1, then suffered its first loss of the season to Shelley in penalty kicks in the district title game. Sugar-Salem won 12 games in a row before playing to a 2-2 draw with Marsh Valley on Sept. 30. The Diggers have recorded 13 shutouts. Sugar-Salem has advanced to state three times before, advancing to the winner’s bracket once (2010). The Diggers have never won a girls soccer state trophy.

Sugar-Salem begins the 3A state tournament at 11 a.m. Thursday versus defending state champion Coeur d’Alene Charter (14-0-1) at Vallivue High School.

Boys

CLASS 5A

Hillcrest Knights (12-1-3): Hillcrest advances to the 5A state tournament for the third consecutive season after repeating as 5A District 5-6 champion with Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Rigby.

The Knights graduated five from last year’s 11-6-2 team which went two-and-out at the state tournament. Hillcrest, which enters state on a four-game win streak, dropped its only and with its lone loss coming to undefeated 4A District 5-6 champion Blackfoot. The Knights have recorded four shutouts and have held opponents to one goal 11 times. Hillcrest has won one boys soccer state trophy, third place in 2009, which was also the only season the Knights made the winner’s bracket.

Hillcrest begins state at 11:30 a.m. Thursday against District 3 third seed Mountain View (10-5-2) at Eagle High School.

Madison Bobcats (7-8-0): Madison advances to the 5A state tournament for the first time since 2014 after defeating Upper Valley rival Rigby in penalty kicks in Saturday’s in the 5A District 5-6 play-in game. It was Madison’s first win over Rigby in four meetings this season. The Bobcats have won three of their last four games entering state.

Madison begins state at 9 a.m. Thursday against District 3 champion and defending 5A state champion Boise (15-1-1) at Eagle High School.

CLASS 4A

Blackfoot Broncos (16-0-0): Blackfoot advances to its fourth consecutive 4A state tournament — its sixth postseason appearance in seven seasons — after defeating Century in penalty kicks in last week’s 4A District 5-6 championship. It was Blackfoot’s third win over Century in as many meetings this season and it avenged losses to the Diamondbacks in the past two district title matches.

The Broncos join the Sugar-Salem boys as the only undefeated teams from District 6. Blackfoot has recorded five shutouts. The Broncos have won three state boys soccer trophies — second place in 2004, first place in 2011 and the consolation trophy in 2012 — and they advanced to the winner’s bracket last year.

Blackfoot begins state at 11 a.m. Thursday against District 3 runner-up Caldwell (12-4-3) at Brothers Park in Caldwell.

Idaho Falls Tigers (9-7-1): Idaho Falls makes its first postseason appearance since 2014, when it won the 5A state consolation trophy, after defeating Century 2-1 in Saturday’s 4A District 5-6 play-in game. It was the first win over Century in four meetings this season for the Tigers, who are making their first boys soccer state tournament appearance in the 4A classification.

Idaho Falls had not won back-to-back games before last week. The Tigers have recorded five shutouts this season. Idaho Falls has won three boys soccer state trophies — second place in 2002, first place in 2003 and consolation in 2014.

The Tigers begin state at 2 p.m. Thursday against District 3 champion Ridgevue (17-1-1) at Brothers Park in Caldwell.

CLASS 3A

Sugar-Salem Diggers (17-0-0): Sugar-Salem advances to the 3A state tournament for the fifth consecutive season after defeating Teton 5-0 in Thursday’s 3A District 6 championship. It was Sugar-Salem’s first district title since 2014.

The Diggers join the Blackfoot boys as the only undefeated District 6 teams. Sugar-Salem head coach Oscar Bustos said this is the first undefeated team he has ever coached. The Diggers have recorded 14 shutouts this season, and never allowed more than one goal in a game. Sugar-Salem has won three boys soccer state trophies — third place in 2013, second place in 2014 and third place in 2015.

The Diggers begin state at 11 a.m. Thursday against District 4 runner-up Bliss (14-2) at Vallivue High School.

Teton Redskins (10-3-0): Teton advances to the 3A state tournament for the fourth consecutive season after defeating Marsh Valley 2-1 in Saturday’s 3A District 5-6 play-in game.

All three of Teton’s losses this season are to Sugar-Salem. The Redskins enter state having recorded four shutouts.

Teton is the defending 3A state champion. The Redskins have won three other state trophies: first place in 2006 and second place in 2009 and 2011. Last year’s state championship was the first for a District 6 soccer team, boys or girls, since the Blackfoot boys won 4A in 2011.

Teton begins state at 2 p.m. Thursday against District 4 champion Community School (16-3).

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