Football officially ends today. It's time to speculate about the peach baskets.
Who are the teams to watch in all classifications? Here are my thoughts on East Idaho. Top teams 5A-2A.
5A: Rigby. 28-2 last year. Jones is a legend. They'll win District 5-6 again handily. Why can't we get a Preston & Rigby home-home series each year?
4A: Preston. 29-1 last year. Jones is a legend (also). Chalk it up for another championship. That would be 8 out of the last 10 4A state championships to a Jones brother. Also the fifth in six years for Tyler and Preston. Who will pass dad first in the state championship count?
3A: Sugar-Salem. 23-5 last year. Freeman is looking for a fourth state championship in five years. Lost talent, but that didn't stop them in football. It's mostly a draw at that point between Teton, South Fremont, Marsh Valley, and Snake River. It's mostly the typical story except for new coaches at SF and MV. Pope is out after winning a state championship in 2015. Rumor has it he's back at his old stomping grounds in Wendell.
2A: North Fremont. 25-2 last year. Hill is looking for a third straight championship. West Side lost in the championship game and Malad won consolation last year. Firth with Adams back will make things interesting, as well. I mean, he has won *cough* 7 state championships there. There's also a team not to be forgotten down in Montpelier who has 2 state championships of their own in the last four years. 13 of the last 16 2A state championships have come from District 5 & 6.
Sugar and North both surprised me last year, though probably neither should have. Perhaps the lesson is: never underestimate a bunch of athletes that run and scrap for 32 minutes when they buy into the system. Both teams lost major talent from 2018-19 to 2019-20 but both won repeat titles. We saw Preston do the same thing multiple times over the past few years.
To quote a football friend of mine, "Winners win, losers lose." Maybe that's a bit harsh, but the gambling odds would likely see it that way. If I was a betting man, I'd put money on the establishment.