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Statewide Midseason Boys Soccer Report

With just weeks left in the regular season, we examine the teams best equipped for a postseason run

By: Clay Hatfield
Published: 9/30/2019 11:00:04 AM
 

Check our boys soccer photo galleries from across the state here.

5A Classification

Idaho’s top classification has been a mixed bag of new faces, familiar faces and surprised faces across the state.

But amid the chaos, it's no surprise to see the Boise Brave at the top of the IdahoSports.com coaches poll, a spot they’ve held all season. The Brave has strung together 13-straight wins throughout the season, and haven't scored less than two goals since their opening match back in August. 

The season the Centennial Patriots have had surprised many. While Centennial has traditionally been a familiar face in the ranks of Idaho soccer, they are currently sitting atop the traditional powers like Borah and defending State Champion Rocky Mountain. While they currently trail the conference-leading Brave by 1.5 games, they have a chance to close the gap when the two meet — for the first and only time this season — in late September.  The Patriots will also be keeping an eye on the 6-3-1 Grizzlies, who they face to end the regular season.

In only their second year of existence, the Thunder Ridge Titans are making some noise in District 5-6. They currently sit 1.5 games ahead of second-place Madison, though the two teams are tied in the conference standings. The Titans also average 5.3 goals per game, including a 13 spot against Bonneville early in the season. Thunder Ridge, however, is not looking past a tough Madison team that squeaked by the Titans 4-3 in their first meeting this season. The two teams face each other in the final game of the regular season for what could decide the conference champion and the No. 1 seed heading into districts.

In Northern Idaho, two familiar faces lead the pack in the Inland Empire Conference. Halfway through the regular season, Post Falls held a slim advantage over nemesis Lake City. While the Trojans are one of only two 5A teams that remain undefeated (Boise being the other), they still must face the Timberwolves twice in the second half of the season. 
Meanwhile, the Coeur d’Alene Vikings are in the mix and could easily jump either of their conference foes should either Post Falls or Lake City stumble.

4A Classification

Unlike the 5A Classification, the 4A ranks have been a model of predictability, with some exceptions. While there are a couple of unexpected faces in the mix, the usual suspects have persevered halfway through the season.  

In the Inland Empire Conference, the Moscow Bears are starting to separate themselves from the other two teams in the league.  The only blemishes on the Bears’ record have been matches dropped to Northern Idaho 5A foes, Post Falls and Lake City. While the Bears have posted a 3-1-2 overall record, Sandpoint and Lakeland are a combined 2-11-3.

In the Great Basin Conference, it is quickly turning into a three-team race, led by Century, with Wood River and Jerome nipping at the Diamondbacks’ heels.  The Diamondbacks split the points with Jerome in those two teams’ only meeting of the regular season, while Wood River was able to knock off Century with a 2-1 result in Wood River. The conference, and district seeding, could all come down to a late September meeting between the Tigers and Wolverines in Jerome.

The Hillcrest Knights have been making a meal of High Country Conference competition so far. The Knights have only been beaten once all season, by 5A opponent Thunder Ridge, and only a tie against Idaho Falls mars their conference record. The interesting race remaining will be for the No. 2 seed with Blackfoot, Idaho Falls, Skyline and Shelley all jockeying for a position opposite Hillcrest in the district tournament.

The competition in the Southern Idaho Conference has been about the “haves” and “have nots”. The top of the table has the defending State Champion Caldwell Cougars holding on to a slim conference lead over second-place Ridgeview, with Emmett, Vallivue and the Nampa Bulldogs all fighting for third place. While the Cougars lost 10 of 11 starters from last year’s team to graduation, the young Cougs have stepped up big to fill those gaps. These five teams have combined for 36 wins at the mid-way point, while the four remaining conference teams have a total of two wins among them.

3A Classification

The competition in the 3A ranks remains furious through the first half of the season, setting up what should be a very exciting second half and postseason. Sun Valley Community School looks capable of defending its state champion title, but American Falls, Timberlake, Sugar-Salem and Weiser all have their sights set on dethroning the Cutthroats.

While SVCS is sitting on top of the High Desert Conference, the Gooding Senators and Bliss Bears are poised for a run at the top. Sun Valley is led by a defense that has posted six shutouts in 10 matches and whose only loss came against 4A Canyon Ridge in the opening tilt of the season. The Cutthroats have defeated the Senators and the Bears this season, but will have to get by each team once more if they want to claim the district title. Meanwhile, the Senators and Bears split their two regular season meetings and will need to rely on the other to knock off the state’s top-ranked SVCS if they want a shot at claiming a regular season title.

In the Intermountain League, the early results have favored Timberlake, Bonners Ferry and Coeur d’Alene Charter.  These three teams are all within one game of the top spot, currently held by Timberlake. The White Tigers have yet to taste defeat, with their closest scrape coming in a 1-1 tie against Lakeland early in the season. The Panthers and the Badgers both control their own postseason destiny, with each team slated for matchups against the conference-leading Timberlake. Bonners Ferry has the tougher of the schedules as the Badgers finish against Timberlake and CDA Charter to finish the regular season.

The Snake River Valley Conference is a two-team race between the conference-leading Weiser Wolverines holding the edge over the second-place McCall-Donnelly Vandals. That lead, however, could quickly change as the Wolverines and Vandals face each other two more times in the regular season, capped off with a regular season finale at Weiser which could be for the No. 1 seed going into the district tournament.

In the Mountain Rivers Conference, the Sugar-Salem Diggers are enjoying a comfortable lead halfway through the season over second-place South Fremont. The Diggers' nine victories equal that of their three conference foes' win totals combined.

The South East Idaho Conference is anyone’s to claim at this point.  The conference-leading American Falls Beavers hold just a two-game lead over last-place Aberdeen Tigers with half the regular season still remaining.  With two games remaining against the Beavers, the Snake River Panthers are in position to dart past American Falls to claim the regular season conference title.  

 
 
 
 


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