The trophy case at Rocky Mountain High stands packed with hardware for every sport — except boys soccer.
Rocky Mountain routed Timberline 4-0 in the 5A District Three championship game Wednesday at Mountain View to claim its first boys soccer trophy of any kind, district or state.
“It’s nice to finally get to a championship and make history for our school,” said Rocky Mountain senior Kyle Jones, a member of the Grizzlies’ varsity team for four years. “Now we have a high standard for next year’s team coming up.”
But this year’s squad isn’t done. The win gives Rocky Mountain (13-2-1) the 5A SIC’s top seed at the state tournament next week at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex. The Grizzlies will open play at 11 a.m. Oct. 18 against the winner of Saturday’s state play-in game.
While Rocky Mountain checked one first off its list, another and larger first still remains — a state title.
“As much as we love to win every game you play, a championship at Rocky means a lot,” Grizzlies coach Bill Taylor said. “Even if it’s a district championship, it’s a first step. We obviously have a major goal, and that’s to win a state championship. That’s what our focus has been all season.”
Rocky Mountain wasted no time showcasing its offensive talent and depth Wednesday. Ethan Bengtzen put the Grizzlies on the board in the fourth minute after Kristian Quiros sprung him for a run down the left side. Jones then scored the first of his two goals in the ninth minute, when he one-timed a diagonal cross from Bengtzen.
Jones headed in a cross at the back post in the 38th minute to spot Rocky Mountain a 3-0 lead at halftime. Quiros wrapped up the scoring with a penalty kick in the 48th minute.
“(Jones) brings a level of speed and IQ to the game that really helps us out,” Taylor said. “We’ve been fortunate to have several of those types of players with Kyle and Ethan and Kristian. It’s a potent group of guys that have played a long time together.”
Timberline (12-5-2) already secured its state tournament berth before Wednesday. The loss sends the Wolves to state as the SIC’s second seed. They will face either Madison or Rigby at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.
Madison (11-5-1) and Rigby (6-7-3) square off to determine the Eastern Idaho runner-up Thursday afternoon.
“The good news is we’ve got plenty of time to practice,” Timberline coach Chris Hawkins said. “I kind of think today was a lack of discipline. So we’ll get disciplined, get our game back and go into state looking really good.”
BOISE GIRLS WIN ANOTHER TITLE
Boise (16-3-0) scored two early goals to top Rocky Mountain 2-0 for its third 5A district title in the past five years Wednesday at Timberline High.
Kendra McDaniel opened the scoring in the 11th minute when her seeing-eye free kick into the box snuck through the crowd and into the net. Payton Baratcart doubled the lead in the 25th minute with a left-footed rocket from just outside the penalty area.
“We were on fire the first 30 minutes,” Boise coach Chris Siegenthaler said.
The win earns the Braves the SIC’s top seed at state, where they face the winner of Saturday’s play-in game between Borah and Coeur d’Alene at 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.
It also marks a resurgence for Boise, a perennial power. Boise went two-and-out at state two years ago and missed the tournament last fall, so none of the Braves’ current seniors have won a game at state.
“This senior group, they are damn good players who have succeeded in all the other soccer they’ve played, so they weren’t going to let this one get away from them,” Siegenthaler said.
Rocky Mountain (12-3-2) also advanced to state and faces the Eastern Idaho runner-up, Highland or Thunder Ridge, at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Idaho Falls Soccer Complex.