Fall sports are coming to an end, and in Rigby, the excitement is only partially over. Two Rigby teams had their best seasons since becoming part of 5A Districts. The cross country team took sixth place at state Nov. 2. Meanwhile, the football team claimed the district championship and will play their first game at the state level Nov. 8. The volleyball team also finished the season in October.
The Trojans beat rivals Madison for the first time since 2013, and beat Highland for — perhaps — the first time ever, team coach Armando Gonzalez said. The win also marked the first time the Trojans have advanced to state since joining 5A District 5-6, the Trojan football team took the district championship, advancing to state. The team faces off against Eagle Nov. 8 for a chance to advance to the semifinals.
No one thought Rigby would take the district championship — except Rigby, Gonzalez said.
“We were expecting it,” he said.
Gonzalez said this team is one of “the more unselfish teams” he has coached, and said teammates are willing to be part of a program that can make the team as a whole great. He said he thinks that system will help future teams to pull ahead as well.
“I think that (having that system) is where the difference is,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said he thinks the team has a good chance of cinching the state title. If Rigby defeats Eagle, the Trojans will go on to play against either Rocky Mountain or Timberline Nov. 15. The state championship will be Nov. 22.
On Nov. 2 the Trojan boys cross country team wrapped up its most successful season since joining 5A.
The team took sixth out of nine at the IHSAA XC Championships 2019. That is the highest placement the team has had in 5A. Team coach Lyle Thompson said five of the seven Rigby boys who competed also had new personal best scores at the competition.
“It’s getting adjusted to the different level of competition, I think,” Thompson said. “The kids have really grown and improved and hopefully we can continue with that.”
Two Rigby players made it into the top 20, receiving state medals this year. Benjamin Ricks squeezed into the top 10 with a time of 16:16.37. Right behind him came Mason Chandler in 11th, at 16:17.90. Nathan Fielding, who was the only Rigby player to make the top 30 last year, missed the top 20 by 3 seconds this year. He took 24th with a time of 16:31.04.
Scores for other Rigby players are:
46. Erik Easton; 17:01.26; 49. Colton Jacobsen; 17:06.47; 58. Kimball Godfrey; 17:19.24; 67. Trevor Bradley; 18:01.08
Top teams are:
1. Timberline, 87; 2. Meridian, 87; 3. Madison, 97; 4. Eagle, 97; 5. Mountain View, 105
The Trojans started the season off strong with a high win to loss ratio, but the team hit a string of losses in October, losing nine of the 12 games that month. At districts Oct. 24, Rigby lost to Madison by 3–0 for the third time in the season and then lost to Highland by 3–2.
While Madison has swept the floor each time the Bobcats and Trojans have faced off, the Rams have proved nearly equal opponents throughout the season. Early on, the Rigby team defeated Highland with a score of 3–2. The team’s luck did not hold, however, and leading up to the district meet the Rams beat the Trojans Oct. 15 by 3–2.