KNIGHTS GUNNING FOR HISTORY
Coming off its second straight title last season, Bishop Kelly enters the fall with a chance to become the first 5A or 4A team to three-peat.
Only four teams have won three consecutive titles in the Idaho High School Activities Association era, which began in 1977: Madison at 3A (1982-84), Mackay at 1A 11-man (1996-2001) and Snake River at 3A (1998-2002).
But standing squarely in the crosshairs of its opponents is nothing new for Bishop Kelly, winner of three of the past five 4A championships.
“It’s kind of always expected we’re going to be a good team,” said Caden Finkley, a senior and first-team All-Idaho offensive lineman last year. “It’s always expected that we’re going to be state title contenders. We handle it like every other season.
“But of course there’s that big target on our back. But I think that always is there, and we’ll handle it the same — day by day and one step at a time.”
Despite the shot at history, Bishop Kelly coach Tim Brennan said the Knights haven’t rested on their past accomplishments.
“I think they understand it’s not that easy,” Brennan said. “There are not that many teams that have won two in a row, let alone three in a row. So it’s a lot of work. They know that anytime anybody plays Bishop Kelly, they’re going to give us their best effort and play their best game. So we’ve got to be ready to do the best we can.”
FOUR POSSIBLE PLAYOFF BERTHS
Kuna benefited from the 4A classification’s new 12-team playoff structure last year. And the 4A SIC could reap the rewards again.
The top three teams in the conference automatically qualify for the playoffs. The final spot is split between the fourth-place teams from District Three and District Four (Twin Falls), which is determined by the following tiebreakers: Head-to-head, common opponents (in order from 4A to 5A to 3A), MaxPreps.com national rankings and a coin flip.
Kuna advanced on the strength of its MaxPreps ranking last fall.