Kayla Vail

Bonneville’s Kayla Vail finished third last year at 112 pounds at the girls wrestling championship tournament.

The Tiger-Grizz wrestling tournament is one of the top competitions in the state, so when the tournament hosted a girls division for the first time last year, it seemed it was only a matter of time before the dominoes started to fall.

Girls wrestling has been one of the top growing sports in the nation and the Idaho High School Activities Association on Tuesday approved to add a girls bracket to state wrestling tournament starting in 2021-2022.

Even as the number of girl wrestlers increased, Idaho girls still had to compete against boys. The number of girls tournaments has grown, but the sport wasn’t sanctioned until Tuesday.

In each of the past two years, Pocatello High School has hosted an unofficial girls state championship.

“Obviously it’s just an invitational. We couldn’t call it a championship, but we tried to get all the best girl wrestlers in the state to compete at it,” Pocatello head coach JB Plato told the Idaho State Journal. “I think the first year we had 56 girls, and then last year we had 113 girls sign up, so more than doubled in a year.”

The IHSAA said more details have to be worked out before the 2021 season.

Bonneville’s Kayla Vail won a title at last year’s Tiger-Grizz meet.

“Wrestling, for me, has shown me a lot about who I am and what I’m capable of,” Vail said last year. “Personally, it’s shown me I can do really hard things. I think it’s fun proving people wrong because a lot of people still think that girls shouldn’t wrestle.”

-Allan Steele

The return of Mangum

Finally, the Thunder Ridge girls soccer team got junior Sophie Mangum back.

One of the team’s top scorers, Mangum missed the Titans’ first 10 games of the season with a lingering quad injury, but she returned Monday night.

For the Titans, the only bad news was that her debut didn’t come in a win. Mangum scored her team’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with Rigby.

Thunder Ridge (3-5-2, 1-5-1) will return to action on Thursday, visiting Skyline.

-Greg Woods

Possible Bonneville-Madison showdown

Chance for Bonneville volleyball to exact some revenge

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before — Bonneville volleyball is on a roll.

The Bees, who have either won a state championship or come one match away in each of the last five years, have romped their way through this season. They’re 14-1 overall.

This weekend, Bonneville will get a chance to avenge that one loss.

The Bees are set to compete in a tournament Friday and Saturday at Madison, the only team to knock off Bonneville this year. The loss came Sept. 19, when the Bobcats dethroned the Bees at the annual Bonneville Classic.

It bears noting, though, that Bonneville coach Chantal McMurtrey doesn’t consider the defeat the worst thing. Her Bees were playing too confidently, she said, and the loss represented a chance for them to come back to earth. It allowed them to reevaluate where their strengths and weaknesses really are.

This weekend, they’ll do so against the very team that gave them the opportunity.

“I attributed that (loss) to ‘Wow, we didn’t play very well,’” McMurtrey said, ‘and ‘Wow, Madison played as well as I’ve ever seen.’”

COVID-19 shuts down Watersprings volleyball team

The Warrior volleyball team, coming off a 1AD2 state title last season, was quarantined for 10 days after coach Robyn King and an assistant tested positive for the virus.

Watersprings returned to the court on Monday and beat Rockland, causing King to joke that maybe the team played better without practice.

Players were able to do classwork remotely, but Monday was the first day all the players were together in more than a week, King said.

“They were so happy to be back and playing,” she said.

Mackay football season canceled

Coach Travis Drussel said the Miners’ football season has been canceled after one game due to injuries to two seniors, leaving 10 players available. Mackay’s season started late because of a positive COVID-19 test. “We gave it what we had,” Drussel said