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Trenkle and Spartans Looking to Dominate Districts
Head coach Brady Trenkle and his Minico squad think they have the mental toughness to earn a seed at state
Published: 2/19/2020 11:15:23 AM
Brandon Baney
Content Manager/Broadcaster

Minico head coach Brady Trenkle gathers his team during a timeout at Minico High School.

There's no denying Brady Trenkle has seen his fair share of basketball.  

The son of legendary coach Fred Trenkle, Brady played high school ball at Twin Falls, then moved on to San Diego State University to play for his father.

After his playing days were over, he got into the family business. Trenkle spent 18 years coaching at community colleges in Utah and Kansas. An eight-year tenure as head coach at Dodge City Community College and Garden City Community College ultimately landed Trenkle a spot at Division I Youngstown State University as an assistant coach.

But, after one season in Ohio, Trenkle decided to move back home to Idaho and take a job as the athletic director and boys basketball coach at Minico High School in Rupert. 

 "Well, I was in college for 19 years and I was ready to get out," Trenkle said.  "I have a 21-year old son, and I was on the road a lot.  I didn't get to see him grow up as much a normal dad should have, and I felt bad about that.  Knowing I have two younger ones coming up, I wanted to make sure I didn't make that same mistake with them.  And I wanted to be near home."

So far, the results have been encouraging — a 15-6 record and a third-place finish in the Great Basin Ten Conference.  Trenkle said there are a lot of nights where Minico and their opponent are equal in talent, but often the Spartans are mentally stronger.

"The biggest key, I think, is just our mentality.  They have the same approach every day, whether it's a game or practice.  They show up and want to work hard, they do what's asked of them," Trenkle said. "I always say, 'When you cross this line, it's all business.'  They don't come in joking around. They step in wanting to get better.”

Minico is short for Minidoka County, and the school pulls students from the five rural towns: Acequia, Heyburn, Minidoka, Paul and Rupert. Trenkle admitted growing up as a Twin Falls Bruin skewed the way he viewed Minico High and the county it represents.

"The perception was not good.  I didn't even know it consisted of five towns,” he said. “It just looked like you were out in the country nowhere. They weren't very good back then, to be honest with you.  Now, being here, I've gotten a really good feel for it.  It's a lot of fun because it's a very diverse school. The kids we have here are exceptional."

No player personifies that more than senior point guard Rylan Chandler.  He's one of 10 seniors on this year's team, and he carries a 4.0 grade-point average. When Chandler graduates from Minico High this spring, he'll have already earned an associate's degree from college.

Chandler said the camaraderie among his teammates is "really strong." 

"We've been playing together since the fourth grade, we've been doing traveling teams, and it's really worked out."

Chandler also pointed to a renewed emphasis on defense as one of Minico's strengths this year.  

"We really have our defense down," he said.  "We've never really been strong there, that's been our weakest part.  And (now) we're getting stronger in everything we do."

All in all, a winning season is a nice treat for the loyal fans who pack the Minico gym on a nightly basis.  Minico's first trip to state since 2016 would be even better, but the Spartans first have to at least earn a second-place finish in the district tournament for a guaranteed bid to state. 

"There's a lot of support at every single sport we have and activity that we do,” he said. “It could be a dance contest, a cheer contest, a band contest, we got people driving all over to support these kids.  I think it's a tradition that is amazing.  It doesn't happen overnight. It happens because that's what this community is built out of.  It's a lot of faith, great ethics, great moral standings, and people that have a lot of respect for one another. I think that defines what Minico is."

No. 3 Minico takes on No. 6 Wood River Thursday in the opening round of the District 4-5 tournament.

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