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  The Year Of The Diggers

Sugar-Salem has won six state championships, had two runner-up finishes and taken home a consolation trophy this academic year.

By: Will Hoenike
Published: 3/5/2019 7:46:56 PM

It’s the Year of the Digger in Idaho.

Sugar-Salem High School, in the 3A Mountain Rivers Conference in District VI, is having an athletic year for the record books. The Diggers have already had six teams win state titles and that’s before the snow breaks and the school’s spring teams are able to get onto the fields, courts, courses and tracks.

“We have had lots of success over the years but presently, the success that the school programs are having has generated an additional sense of pride and support throughout the entire community,” Sugar-Salem athletic director Jay Miller said. “This environment is so unique because student-athletes get the chance to participate in multiple activities in one year.”


-State champion in football
-State champion in boys cross country
-State champion in girls cross country
-Runner-up in volleyball
-Runner-up in girls soccer
-Consolation champion in boys soccer
-State champion in wrestling
-State champion in boys basketball
-State champion in girls basketball 

Students at Sugar-Salem High School have brought home plenty of hardware in the past year.

That’s just this academic year. In addition, Kooper Williams won the boys individual state cross country title and four runners finished in the top 20. Five members of the school’s girls cross country team finished in the top 16. Three wrestlers (Jonathan Marin at 106 pounds, Caleb Norman at 132 pounds, and Kenneth Copley at 285 pounds) won individual state titles in their weight classes. And, on the activities side, the school’s drama department won a championship and the speech program has a national qualifier and four more state qualifiers.

The clean sweep in winter sports – boys and girls basketball and wrestling – represents the second time in the history of the Idaho High School Activities Association that one school has won all three team titles in the same season. Meridian High School accomplished the same feat in 1983. Miller lauded the school’s student-athletes and its coaches for the well-rounded excellence so far this year.

“They (student-athletes) recognize that every success has a process of preparation. They are buying in and investing in that process,” Miller noted. “Our coaches are such a critical part of what we do. They all work together to help student athletes reach their full potential. We truly are a united team school-wide.”

Can the dominance continue into spring sports?

“The fun part is, many of the same athletes will be participating in lots of those spring sports,” Miller said. “They are learning to set real goals and then go to work to achieve those goals. They like to win and they prepare themselves well to do so.”

There’s reason to think there could be more magic in the air in Sugar City this spring. The Sugar-Salem boys track team won state last spring with the girls finishing second. The boys and girls tennis teams each finished top five in team scores. Kaden Zontz represented the school’s boys golf team at the State tournament.

“Tradition runs deep in Sugar City,” Miller concluded. “They (the student-athletes) get to showcase their talents and be successful in many, many, sporting events and activities and they are loving it.”


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