Luke O’Roark here — the only person who can run faster than football legend Barry Sanders blind-folded.
The clock has almost struck midnight on another Idaho football season. It’s, like, 10 p.m. Some teams have already gone to be bed.
“I’m too tired to stay up,” some team whines.
“My mom says I need to be in bed by 9:30,” they cry out, as our remaining 13-ish teams try to battle fatigue sleep deprivation by bonging copious amounts of Mountain Dew and feverishly rubbing the bags out from under their eyes.
“Luke, what are you even talkin—”
Listen, y’all. I’m tired. The oracle? My crystal ball is basically broken — it’s actually been broken for weeks (I purchased it at Wal-Mart because I’m a cheap loser). The grind of sports is killing me. I’m weak (you probably already knew that).
Look, I’m going to take up the rest of this space to say: I just need your team’s stats. Not only to figure our All-Area list, but it’s also to help me compare to my own stat keeping for future reference.
Email stats to email@example.com. Call it in to the sports desk at 208-542-6772. Send a carrier pigeon. Have a kid run it to the Post Register by hand. Fax it to me. Send it via Morse code, I really don’t care. Just get us final team stats.
Y’all wanna see your son/daughter’s name in the paper and their stats of one catch for seven yards? Getting your team’s stats will help with that, too.
I know this may sound nuts, but... we can’t be everywhere physically every Friday night. No, I can’t be in Arco and Ammon and Ravsten all at once.
Ya know, I’m human — “BREAKING: Reporter admits to being human” — but it’s always nice to have some sort of official stat sheet to compare notes with/so we have details from a game we couldn’t staff.
And when I mean “official”, I mean: official team stats from a coach. Nothing against parents/stranglers that watch high school games for fun, but that is our policy here on the PR’s sports desk.
I cannot just take stats from a parent because there’s always a concern with some parent bulking or splicing stats for some kid.
For example, this is — probably — something my mom emailed to a local reporter back in 2010:
Subject: Luke O’Roark (No. 17 on WHS)
Body: Hi, (insert Washington Post sports reporter name here),
My son, Luke, is a member of the Westfield bulldog lacrosse team. He’s got 30 goals and 7 assists this season. I think he may be worth mentioning in your articles, as he’s such a team player and works really hard. He has a 3.4 GPA and is a sports writer for the school newspaper, the Watchdog.
This year — his sophomore year — he’s helped the Bulldogs go 9-1 and really gotten better with his off-hand. He’s always going to practice and really shows positive character on and off the field.
Thank you for your consideration and for your coverage,
— Go Bulldogs! Roof! Roof!
(End of email)
”But, Luke, I’m not lying. I swear—”
See what my mom, Kelly, didn’t mention was that I really had five goals, no assists and my GPA was a pedestrian, 2.7 that year.
So, through this example, you can see why we only take official stats from coaches.
If you’ve been calling/sending stats: great! You get a gold star and just know that your team will be in the paper.
- If you haven’t been calling/sending stats: .... clears throat
Game of the Week: Minico at Skyline, 5:30 p.m. Friday at Holt Arena
A rematch of last year’s 4A state championship, these two teams meet in the opening round of the playoffs Friday on similar playing fields.
While there’s some concern regarding Skyline’s offense — during the past four weeks, the Grizzlies have outscored opponents just 66-64 — history is on its side.
Skyline hasn’t lost a playoff game since Oct. 30, 2015. The Grizzlies are also healthy, with Cruz Taylor and kicker Analee Cortez back.
Minico, meanwhile, comes in on a two-game losing streak (losing to Century and Twin Falls) to end the regular season.
I expect the Grizzlies to show up Friday, comfortable in the safe confides of Holt Arena.
Skyline 29, Minico 20
Weiser at South Fremont, 6 p.m. Thursday at Holt Arena
At times this year, South Fremont has been a difficult team to gauge. But as of late, they’ve been competitive against Sugar-Salem (losing 27-13), and scored plenty of points in the final weeks of the season. South Fremont is coming off a 46-9 win over Teton.
And while Weiser’s coach, Tom Harrison, is one of the best in the state, Weiser has yet to garner a win against a solid opponent (two wins over Canadian teams, one win over Parma and another over Buhl to begin the year).
I like South in Pocatello.
South Fremont 34, Weiser 20
Ririe at Declo, 7 p.m. Thursday
While Ririe has remained competitive throughout its season, I think this one is a fairly easy choice.
Declo is returning 2A state champions and has one of the best players in the state in Boise State commit Keegan Duncan.
Declo 44, Ririe 27
Soda Springs vs. North Fremont, 8:30 p.m. Thursday at Holt Arena
North Fremont starts its postseason in Holt Arena and against a team its already beaten (57-14 on Sept. 14).
The Huskies are legit and are having one of their best seasons ever. I like them in the opening round.
North Fremont 46, Soda Springs 16
Murtaugh at Mackay, 5 p.m. Friday
Mackay has beaten Murtaugh before (30-28 on Aug. 31) and I think the Miners do it again.
Mackay 34, Murtaugh 26
Firth at West Side, 6 p.m. Friday
These two teams met during week one, with West Side beating Firth 34-6.
I see a similar outcome Friday down south.
West Side 37, Firth 18
Butte County (2-5) at Challis (6-2), 7 p.m. Friday
I think Challis wins this 1A D1 battle behind studs like Ross Sheppeard, Parker May and Mitch Cotant (to name a few).
The Pirates — already eliminated from one of the most stacked conferences in Idaho — will play with pride, though.
Challis 50, Butte County 34
Meridian at Madison, 7 p.m. Friday
While the Bobcats scored their least amount of points last Friday against Skyline (a 13-6 loss), I expect Madison to bounce back at home against a team that just gave up 70 points.
Madison is also 4-1 at home.
Madison 45, Meridian 28
Sandpoint at Hillcrest, 7 p.m. Friday
Hillcrest is a team to watch this postseason.
With one of the best ground attacks in the state, the Knights will look to win their first state title since 2008.
Darin Owens, head coach from 2008-2011, also leaned on his rushing attack, and I expect Hillcrest to keep running past the opening round.
Hillcrest 35, Sandpoint 13
Blackfoot at Middleton, 7 p.m. Friday
As I mentioned before the season: Blackfoot is a “dark bronco” this year.
They proved it — getting into the playoffs on at-large bid after beating Bingham County rival Shelley in the final week of the regular season.
Unfortunately, Blackfoot plays at Middleton to start the playoffs.
Middleton, despite losing two of its previous three games, wins at home where its 4-1.
Middleton 40, Blackfoot 21
Idaho Falls at Twin Falls, 7 p.m. Friday
Idaho Falls has been clicking as of late and heads into this week on a four-game winstreak.
Twin Falls also comes in on a win streak (three games), and starts its playoff run at home.
I still like the Tigers, though, who will probably score more than 21 and 20 points (the amount the Bruins gave up during the past two weeks) thanks to a potent rushing attack led by Cameron Conrad.
Idaho Falls has been held to 20 points or fewer just three times this year.
Idaho Falls 33, Twin Falls 21
Teton at Kimberly, 7 p.m. Friday
Teton’s two-win season, unfortunately, comes to an end against a Kimberly team whose only loss comes from Idaho’s No. 1 ranked 2A team.
Kimberly 45, Teton 12
West Jefferson at Aberdeen, 7 p.m. Friday
While Aberdeen has home-field advantage, West Jefferson is no team to snuff at.
The Panthers’ only losses this season come to teams with the name “Fremont” in it, and I think it stays that way.
Aberdeen — normally a 2A powerhouse — is not having its best season (though its won three-straight).
West J wins in a tight one.
West Jefferson 32, Aberdeen 30