Here are some news and notes for the week ahead.
Johnson’s recruiting keeps picking up steam
Thunder Ridge quarterback Tao Johnson’s recruitment isn’t slowing down any time soon. Just this weekend, Johnson went on an official visit to Washington State and picked up an offer from Weber State.
“This past weekend has been amazing,” Johnson said. “It’s been probably one of the most fun weekends of my life, honestly.”
For Johnson, that’s seven offers so far: Idaho State, Montana State, Eastern Washington, Washington State, Chadron State, Utah and Weber State. 247Sports’ No. 2 recruit in Idaho, Johnson is being recruited as an athlete by some schools and a receiver by others. Utah, Johnson said, would give him a chance to try out at quarterback.
Also a basketball player and the 5A state 100-meter champion, Johnson said he enjoyed his Washington State visit, where he watched the Cougars’ contest against USC and met players and coaches.
“It was really cool,” he said. “Getting to meet the players, getting to make personal connections with the coaches, and the atmosphere was amazing at game day. I loved it. I had a really good time.”
This week, Johnson has an opportunity to boost his stock even more when Thunder Ridge hosts Rigby.
-Greg Woods/Post Register
Sugar-Salem soccer coach Scott Terry keeping up balancing act
Sugar-Salem soccer coach Scott Terry is pulling off quite the feat coaching both the Diggers’ boys and girls soccer teams.
So far, it’s working remarkably well. As of Tuesday, the boys team — which has won three of its last four — is 7-2 and the girls team — which has won two of three — is 4-4.
“It is a challenge, but I feel really confident with the assistant coaches we’ve brought in,” Terry said last month. “All three of them do a really good job of helping us balance coaching both the boys and the girls. I feel like we’re very organized in the way we design practices and the way that we carry them out.”
Tuesday marked the conference-openers for both Sugar-Salem clubs. Both visited South Fremont.
-Greg Woods/Post Register
Bob Firman meet canceled
Due to COVID-19 related impacts, along with the new crisis standards of care guidelines being expanded to all areas of Idaho, the prestigious Bob Firman Invitational cross country meet has been canceled for the second straight year.
Idaho’s largest meet typically features national caliber talent and had 152 high school teams registered, including California powerhouse Great Oak, 2018 Nike Cross Nationals girls champion Summit (Ore.), and multiple Nike Cross Nationals qualifier Jesuit (Ore.) prior to canceling.
No surprise as Sugar-Salem volleyball off to a strong start
Two-time 3A state champion Sugar-Salem had an impressive weekend, winning the Bonneville Classic volleyball title and finishing undefeated in the two-day tournament.
The Diggers powered through 4A and 5A teams and eventually defeated Eagle 22-25, 25-16, 15-10 in the championship match.
After going undefeated in sets against 3A teams last season, the Diggers had only lost three sets this year going into the Bonneville tournament. One was against Fruitland in the Peg Peterson Tournament on Sept. 3-4 and two against Star Valley in Wyoming.
“It’s been fun to get to see the girls reset, take a breath and move forward,” Sugar-Salem head coach Cami Dodson said. “To kind of reset their energy and re-acknowledge their goals and what they’re trying to do as a team and then just come back at it.”
The Diggers now have two tournament wins this year.
-Koster Kennard/Standard Journal
Hillcrest hosting Triple Threat tourney
Hillcrest is the place to be for volleyball this weekend as the school hosts the Triple Threat Showcase tournament. Idaho Falls, Thunder Ridge, Shelley, Blackfoot, South Fremont, Firth and Rigby are among the teams expected to compete.
Local boys flock to newly formed volleyball program
Kevin Beyerlein has played volleyball all of his life including professionally on the beach in Southern California. Recently, he built up and coached a high school boys volleyball team while working a day job as a behavioral therapist in the Denver, Colorado area.
When Beyerlein and his wife Katie moved to Rexburg about a year ago they noticed that there weren’t many opportunities for boys to play volleyball competitively.
“We worked for a long time to get boys volleyball over there (Colorado) in high school,” Beyerlein said. “Then I got out here and there was no volleyball for boys at all. Girls (volleyball) is big but there’s no boys.”
Kevin told Katie he wanted to coach a team but there weren’t many opportunities. There was an intramural team for younger kids but nothing for high school. Katie decided to start advertising to recruit boys to start a team.
“Every clinic we say, ‘bring your friends,’ go tell your friends and bring your friends,” Katie said. “And every time they bring new friends,” Kevin said.
Before long the 17U Teton Nation volleyball team had nine players plus two players who have committed to play in the spring. The 17U team has players age 15 to 17. Teton Nation also has beginner and intermediate teams for players between the ages of eight and 16.
Initially, Katie recruited throughout southeast Idaho then a father of one of the boys from the Idaho Falls area, Ryan Petrie, decided to split off to form a team in the Idaho Falls area called Crow Creek Volleyball. The Beyerleins welcomed the split because it meant the boys didn’t have to travel as far and their team will have a close team to compete against.
“We had a boy coming from Blackfoot,” Katie said. “We had a boy coming from Idaho Falls but it proved to be a little too far. We’ll take boys from anywhere in Southeastern Idaho. It’s not just restricted to Rexburg.”
-Koster Kennard/Standard Journal