Valley High School
Conference: 1AD1 Snake River Conference
Classification: 1A D1
Head Coach: Jamie Kohtz
Years as Head Coach: 1st season
Previous Experience: 1 year varsity, 2 years JV
State Titles: None
Photo By: Brandy Brown - #30 Kynsee Mussmann
Written by: Sven Alskog
A new year brings a completely new look for the Valley Vikings this season on the hardwood.
Gone is the senior class of Marlee Mussmann, Lizzy Henry, Katie Buschhorn and Chelsea Benavidez and the accolades that accompanied that group, including a trip to Kuna for state last season and plenty of postseason awards. The loss of Mussmann will be possibly the most difficult to replace, as the point guard was instrumental in the turnaround on both sides of the ball in her return from a knee injury.
Also departed is Liz Thomas, the head coach at Valley for the previous four seasons.
New Head Coach Jamie Kohtz will be tasked with guiding the Vikings into the state tournament for the third year in a row.
Kohtz will be relying on a barrage of returning players who are stepping into larger roles this season.
Maren Hunter, Madisyn Kimmel, Kynsee Mussmann, Savania Jeske and Brittany Mangum were all listed by the new coach as returners who she has high expectations for this year.
The Mussmann name is a well-represented one in Hazelton, with Marlin a member of Kohtz’s coaching staff.
Wing play should again be the strength of the new squad, with plenty of ball-handlers on the floor at a time. The quickness that comes with that smaller group should allow the Vikings to push the tempo against their oppositions, taking advantage of what will commonly be a mismatch.
On the other side of things, plenty of pressure will be applied by Valley on the defensive end as they try to force turnovers, allowing open floor opportunities attacking the basket or at the perimeter for uncontested 3-pointers.
Plenty of competition for playing time will exist with this squad as Kohtz tries to find combinations on the floor that work best.
“The players coming in this year work hard and challenge each other,” stated the coach. “They are optimistic, competitive and willing to put in extra time to improve their basketball skills.”
The devotion to the sport should be expected from a program which has made the two state tournament appearances in a row, highlighted by winning a game on the big stage last season.
While a new team and a first year coach will be on display for Valley this year, the drop into the 1A classification should be a smooth transition, allowing the Vikings to be competitive in what might have otherwise been seen as a rebuilding season.