Varsity Extra

Girls soccer preview: Boise High the safe bet, favorite in 5A SIC

Centennial striker Makayla Christensen traps a ball against Nampa last week. The junior has committed to Utah and led the 5A SIC with 26 goals last season, earning first-team all-conference honors.
Centennial striker Makayla Christensen traps a ball against Nampa last week. The junior has committed to Utah and led the 5A SIC with 26 goals last season, earning first-team all-conference honors. kgreen@idahostatesman.com

5A BREAKDOWN

Centennial entered the season as the two-time defending state champion. But perennial power BOISE always looms.

The Braves have not only qualified for every state tournament since the Idaho High School Activities Association began sponsoring it in 2000 — they’ve won a trophy from every tournament.

With five returning starters and nine contributors from a nationally ranked team last fall — including Idaho commit Kate Blickenstaff and Boise State commit Julia Lewis — Boise was voted no lower than fourth on every coach’s ballot. The balanced voting allowed the Braves to overtake the Patriots as preseason favorite for a third straight district title.

CENTENNIAL fields a loaded lineup to gun for the Braves again with eight returning starters, including three of its top four defenders. And their striker pair of juniors Makayla Christensen (Utah commit) and Josie Bush (BYU) makes the Patriots one of the most frightening clubs going forward.

The graduation of the Grizzlies’ all-time leading scorer and league player of the year Raimee Sherle will force ROCKY MOUNTAIN to search for new scoring options. But central midfielder Lily Schlake, a first-team all-conference pick, central defender AJ Reed and goalkeeper Annika Rademacher will prove difficult for opposing teams to penetrate.

The nontraditional power posing the largest threat resides at BORAH, where the Lions have amassed a bounty of young, Division I talent.

4A BREAKDOWN

Just as sure as the sun rises in the east, BISHOP KELLY is the clear favorite in the 4A SIC after winning seven straight district titles and nine of the last 10.

The Knights return 10 players from last year’s squad, including three of their top scoring options in Aubree Chatterton, Sam Webster and Cameron Coyle. But after failing to win a state trophy for the first time since 2005, the Knights are starting to appear mortal and will break in a first-year coach in Madison Collins.

The Knights’ top threat in recent years, Kuna, moved up to 5A. MOUNTAIN HOME, with eight returning starters and a talented senior class, poses the largest threat. And MIDDLETON, with first-team all-conference forward Mikee Furrow returning, can’t be overlooked.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Lauren Bouvia, Weiser

The UC Davis-bound senior set a national record last year with 127 goals in 21 games — including 16 at state — to lead the Wolverines to the 3A state title.

Emma Bailey, Eagle

The first-team all-5A SIC forward as a freshman and sophomore was limited as a junior by an ACL injury. But the BYU commit is back to full speed.

Zoe Transtrum, Borah

The junior attacking midfielder is already lighting up the scoreboard, with a pair of hat tricks in her first five games and eight goals in total.

Kate Blickenstaff, Boise

The Idaho commit and senior is the centerpiece of the Braves’ attack. She’s also a defensive stalwart and can play every position in the midfield.

Aubree Chatterton, Bishop Kelly

The senior forward/midfielder earned co-4A SIC Player of the Year honors last season. The Gonzaga commit is the heavy favorite for the outright award in ’16.

Coaches’ polls

5A SIC

Team (1st-place votes)

Pts

1. Boise (3)

132

2. Centennial (7)

129

3. Rocky Mountain

117

4. Borah (1)

103

5. Timberline (1)

98

6. Mountain View

90

7. Eagle

80

t-8. Capital

45

t-8. Meridian

45

10. Kuna

43

11. Columbia

34

12. Nampa

20

4A SIC

Team (1st-place votes)

Pts

1. Bishop Kelly (7)

56

2. Mountain Home

45

3. Middleton

41

4. Skyview

40

5. Vallivue

24

6. Caldwell

22

7. Ridgevue

17

8. Emmett

7

Note: One 4A coach did not vote

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