By Jesse Cosens
BLACKFOOT– Sports are huge in this school with back to back state records in nearly every sport in this schools history, this is a team to watch because one never knows sport is going to blow up next.
There is a long history with football amongst the plethora of teams at Snake River with their incredible seasons from 1995 to 2002 back to back state championships under famed Coach Tom Harrison. Seven titles and an unprecedented 82-2 record the Harrison name has returned to Harrison Field to bring back a by-gone-era. Coach Harrison said, " I think we have a great team with solid numbers. We have depth at each position. That depth has created competition between players and has made us better. Our first goal is to win our District but We fully expect to be competing for a State Championship."
When asked what makes him passionate about football Coach Harrison said, " I love football, I have grown up around the game and this school. I came to practice with my dad (Tom Harrison)when 8 years old and have strong relationship with the football program and community.I grew up in Snake River, I went to this school, married my high school sweetheart. I love this school and community. I have a passion for football I choose SR over other places because of strong tradition and community values. I want every kid that plays in this program to be successful and represent our community well."
When asked what players to look out for this year he said," We have had some transfers that I expect to compete for starting positions. Kelan Dayley and Drake Anderton. Treyton Young has grown into a team leader. He was always a leader on the team whether he knew it or not. But now he has embraced his role. Mitch Lindsay (11) at Qb has had a great summer. He is competing with Cole Gilbert (10) who has played well this summer also. We return lots of starters on offense and defense. DL Ty Belnap and Taylor Scott have both received offers from Rocky Mountain and Carroll College." Coach Harrison is confident this is going to be a tremendous year for the team when asked who they are looking out for and who they look forward to playing this season Coach harrison said, " We open with Kimberly, who made it to the State Semis last season. They will be a Top five Team. We will see how we compare week one. Snake River will play Firth for the first time since 1987. This will be a Bingham County Battle. They are a well coached team and should be a tough test. I hope our players have great season make lots of memories and hopefully hold a trophy over their head."
A staple on the track Coach Mike Kirkham is leading the cross country team to greatness. The team this year has a few familiar faces returning like last years State Champion Lorenzo High. Accompanied by his brother Lincoln this year to round out the top runners to look out for.
Coach Kirkham said, "We have six freshman girls running this year and they are really doing well. This is a good bunch of kids. The boys team last year got second in State. I hope were even stronger this year but we have Sugar-Salem and they're a pretty tough one to beat. They have a really strong program. We have been building our program and its getting better every year." The team's top runners are brothers Lorenzo and Lincoln High and are expected to do great things this year. Last year Lorenzo came in second at State and has his eyes set on the top podium this time around. "Lorenzo was number two in the mile at State last year he can run anything. He can get a scholarship and we have had a lot of people interested in him; and Lincoln his brother is our number two runner this year. Rylan Anderson and Gage Palmer are both running cross country and playing football this year. They are going to do good things this year too. So we have some great prospects for colleges after high school." With practice over and the kids starting to file out Gage asked the coach if he would time him as he got another few laps in on his own time, the work-ethic alone spoke volumes.
When asked about the upcoming meets the team has scheduled Coach Kirkham said, "We run our own meet on the September 20. Its a big meet; we run it at the fair grounds. It's got all kinds of surfaces from hills to sand. It's been a big meet the past three or four years. Most of the meets we go to are right around here. The district meet will be at the fair grounds this year too. They move it every year for three years."
To get money for the team meets the students setup chairs at the fair for the comedy show. This year the team is getting the chairs out for Gabriel Iglesias. They also run a parking lot during the fair. Hard work on and off the track is the life of the cross country team. The hard-work and determination of this team is evident in all they do. On another note anyone with experience coaching track, the team is looking for a jumping coach for long-jump, high-jump and triple jump. If interested please contact Coach Kirkland at Snake River High School.
More than 450,000 high school student-athletes participate in cross country every fall in the United States alone. Ask them about the sport and they’ll say they absolutely love it. Then ask any adult runners, triathletes, cyclists, etc. who ran cross country in high school. Not only will they say they loved it too, but they may just start rattling off old war stories about mile repeats, tempo runs and grueling 5k races with crazy hills that seem to grow in length as the years go by.
New coaching staff has the teams all set for a championship year. Coach Becky Young is taking the helm as the head coach for the girls this year, along with Coach Davey Adams and Coach Cooper Peterson. Coach Young said, "We’ve set some high goals as a team and the 1st is to have the highest GPA in the state this year we’ve set Friday’s aside for the girls to study together rather than working out. Of course our eye is on the district title a bid to state. We haves our sites set on Marsh Valley and establishing ourselves in the district."
When asked what makes her passionate about coaching soccer coach Young said, "Great Soccer coach’s influences my life in ways they may never know. My late father David Adams was my first Coach and he taught me that soccer is “game” and that it should always be fun. My high school coach is our current mayor Marc Carrol. Coach Carrol taught me the importance of fundamentals and teamwork."
Coach young was asked who to look out for this year on the field her response was, "Gisselle Trejo and Emyrie Adams are two incredibly talented and hardworking freshmen that have been playing with the Blacksnake league that will add some depth to our team offensively. We have 12 freshmen girls that joined the team and though their experience levels are diverse they are willing to put in the time it takes to win."
"High school is hard but being apart of a team and knowing they have your back on and off the field is invaluable! I also believe a coach can change a life for good or bad. I feel passionate about paying forward to all those coaches that didn’t give up on me. I’m a first grade teacher in the district and love when a student has an “awe ha” moment and I hope to see those moments on the pitch with these amazing young women this year!" -Coach Young
The team is amped up and the coaches have the team well on its way to being ready to go to state. Coach Martin said, "I have loved volleyball from a very early age and was able to compete at the collegiate level. One way that I can give back to the sport that was so influential on me is by coaching. I've been coaching for a lot of years now and can say that for the most part I love it. (Sometimes parents make it difficult...) The girls make it fantastic! I am blessed to coach at a high school that has fantastic support for extra curricular activities. Every year there are challenges that my teams have to overcome. This year, I would guess that our biggest challenge will be overcoming newness. I have 3 girls with some varsity experience, but they are playing new positions and several players are playing positions they have never played before. The girls seem up for the challenge and we are excited to step on the court every time we have the chance! I think we have probably the tallest team we have ever had during my years as a varsity coach and I'm excited about that! I'm really looking forward to a great season and of course the goal is to end the year bringing home equipment from the state tournament!"