The Huskies’ varsity volleyball team has cruised through the fall, running off a perfect record in conference and nonconference play.
Then the program was blindsided.
Doctors diagnosed rightside hitter Kinzy Parks, a member of the freshman team, with an aggressive form of leukemia Sept. 25. She began chemotherapy Sept. 28. Parks underwent dialysis last week and her second round of chemotherapy Monday at St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center.
The news and treatment came so fast that coach Dana Williams called Parks’ parents Sept. 27 after hearing about the diagnosis in a text to figure out if it was true.
“Her closer friends have had a really hard time,” Williams said. “We’ve had to deal with some girls crying. And we’ve had some girls a couple days later that had a hard time, thinking, ‘She’s healthy and athletic. This could happen to me.’
“There’s that feeling of nobody is safe from this disease. This could hit anybody — athletic, young, old.”
Williams addressed the program Sept. 28, and it immediately asked with how it could support Parks. Emmett (11-0, 7-0 3A SRV) adopted the slogan “#Playing4Kinzy.” Players are wearing orange and purple ribbons in their hair and on their shoes. And the varsity team will dedicate its Senior Night to a fundraiser for Parks on Oct. 15 vs. Homedale.
“We typically do a cancer night anyway, but this year, it’s going to be more poignant,’’ Williams said.
A YouCaring page for Parks has raised $900 as of Tuesday night.
DISTRICT SOCCER KICKS OFF FRIDAY
Tuesday marked the final day of the regular season for boys and girls teams in the 5A and 4A Southern Idaho Conferences.
The 5A District Three tournaments for boys and girls start Friday with the bottom eight teams in the standings competing in a play-in round. The top four teams earned a bye into the eight-team tournament, which starts Saturday.
Boise (14-0-0) is the No. 1 seed in the girls tournament, having allowed just three goals all season. The Timberline (13-1-0) boys, the defending state champ, claimed a regular-season championship Tuesday with a 5-0 win over Nampa.
The 5A classification crowns its district champions Wednesday at Eagle (boys) and East Junior High (girls). The league earns four automatic state tournament berths. The fifth-place team advances to a play-in game Oct. 17 against the northern Idaho runner-up.
The 4A SIC starts its six-team tournament Saturday and crowns its champions Wednesday with the high seed hosting throughout the tournament.
Bishop Kelly (11-2-1) enters as the prohibitive favorite in the girls tournament, searching for its eighth straight district title.
Caldwell (9-4-2) clinched a regular-season title with a 4-0 win over Middleton and enters the boys tournament as the top seed.
The top two teams from the 4A SIC qualify for state. The third-place team must win a play-in game against the northern Idaho runner-up Oct. 17.
STATE FOOTBALL ROTATION SET
The Idaho High School Activities Association has established the criteria for where it will play state championship games next month.
When teams from different regions meet in the championship, the location of the matchup rotates based on history. For example, Boise State’s Albertsons Stadium hosted last year’s 5A championship between a western team (Mountain View) and an eastern team (Highland).
So if another western and eastern team met, Idaho State’s Holt Arena would host.
The championship round is Nov. 20-21.
Boise State hosts Air Force on Nov. 20, so any games scheduled for Albertsons Stadium could be moved to Dona Larsen Park or local high schools.
Below is the class-by-class criteria:
North vs. East — Holt Arena; North vs. West — Kibbie Dome; East vs. West — Holt Arena.
East vs. West — Albertsons Stadium; North vs. West — Kibbie Dome; North vs. East — Kibbie Dome.
North vs. East — Kibbie Dome; West vs. East — Holt Arena; North vs. West — Kibbie Dome.
: West vs. East — Albertsons Stadium; West vs. North — Kibbie Dome; North vs. East — Kibbie Dome.
•1A Division I:
West vs. North — Albertsons Stadium; North vs. East — Holt Arena; East vs. West — Albertsons Stadium.
•1A Division II:
North vs. East — Kibbie Dome; East vs. West — Albertsons; North vs. West — Kibbie Dome.