Good luck finding another coach in the area who dealt with more this season than Skyline’s Kip Archibald.
Archibald, who completed his 13th season as the Grizzlies’ skipper this season, endured plenty. Junior Teresa Ledezma, the team’s leading goal-scorer last season, suffered a season-ending injury before the year started. Fellow junior Magali Ybarra, who figured to play a key role, had the same happen. Kylee Burton missed two weeks with a concussion, and Aspen Leatham sat out 10 days for COVID-related issues.
Still, Archibald found ways to manage his roster and guide Skyline to the 4A state tournament. For that reason, Archibald is the Post Register’s All-Area Girls Soccer Coach of the Year.
“Kip is a very level-headed coach,” Shelley coach Jim Gregory said. “He really works well with the girls to develop their potential. He doesn’t get overly excited, overly carried away. He’s not a screamer, which I appreciate. Coaching-wise, he knows the game extremely well, and his player development is just incredibly good.”
Perhaps that last comment can shed light on how Archibald led the Grizzlies to a rather unlikely trip to state this season. Leatham, the junior who missed time for COVID reasons, sent Skyline to state with the game-winning goal against Bonneville in the 4A District 6 tournament title game. Sophomore Jackie Trejo posted Skyline’s other two goals in the win.
Leatham and Trejo’s roles skyrocketed, in other words. Those goals might have gone to other players if they stayed healthy. Instead, Archibald trusted younger players in tournament crunch time. His intuition paid off.
At the state tournament, Skyline dropped a first-round matchup to Columbia, rebounded with a win over Canyon Ridge and fell in the consolation match to Bishop Kelly.
Still, the Grizzlies’ win over the Bees was important on its own merits — the Grizzlies’ goal all season was to make it to state — but it was also impressive because of the opponent. Bonneville features an armada of goal-scorers, including All-Area first-team picks Ali Ellsworth, Kylie Coles and McKenzie Pugmire, and they rarely lost conference games.
Earlier in the season, Skyline also knocked off 5A foes Thunder Ridge and Rigby.
The Grizzlies did it all without some of their most important players, which says a lot about their head coach.