Six District 6 teams will try to advance to the state semifinals this week.
Three of those teams — Sugar-Salem in 3A, North Fremont in 2A and Lost Rivers in 1A Division 1 — ended the regular season as No. 1 in their respective classifications in the final state media poll.
What that means is yet to be determined, but Sugar-Salem and North Fremont each advanced to state championship games a year ago, so the Diggers and Huskies may have experience on their side.
One team without playoff experience is Lost Rivers. The Pirates’ emergence from the scrappy first-year co-op of players from Butte County and Mackay into a championship contender has been well documented, but players have seen some postseason experience. Just not as the current team, with the best of both teams combining to form a menacing lineup.
“We’re going to be a tough out,” coach Sam Thorngren said before the season.
Lost Rivers (9-0) plays Clearwater Valley (6-2) on Friday at Holt Arena.
Speaking of Holt Arena …
Three area teams will head south to the dome in Pocatello for their games.
Sugar-Salem (7-1) plays Gooding (8-1) tonight at 7 p.m. Friday’s Lost Rivers game is at 5:30 p.m. followed by Teton vs. Snake River at 8:15 p.m.
Apparently Rigby, Blackfoot and North Fremont prefer their homefield advantage and playing under the stars.
That might not be a bad choice. The Trojans (7-1) and Huskies (9-0) are unbeaten at home and Blackfoot (9-1) has just one loss, which came early in the season.
And that one loss …
It’s a good thing Star Valley, Wyo., isn’t invited to this party. The Wyoming 3A power handed Blackfoot its lone loss back on Sept. 6 and then beat Sugar-Salem a week later. The 24-7 loss was the Diggers’ lone blemish during the regular season.
It’s pronounced Fra-gee-lay
There’s a thin line between the good teams and the championship teams. It’s a fragile balance that’s hard to predict. That was evident last week when Skyline quarterback Cruz Taylor left the game with an injury and the Grizzlies never recovered. Call it luck, or fortitude, or maybe one team is just that much better than the others, but those teams that are left standing in two weeks can celebrate as long as they want because that state banner is indeed special.