Varsity Extra

Prep notebook: Meridian High to honor former baseball coach

Longtime Warriors coach Mo Brooks will throw out the first pitch when Meridian hosts Eagle at 6 p.m. Thursday.

There also will be a banner presentation in Brooks’ honor before the game. The permanent banner will be displayed in left field.

Brooks coached the Warriors from 1968 to 2002 and compiled an overall record of 720-353 with seven district titles, 19 state appearances, two state titles and three runner-up finishes. He was inducted into the Idaho Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

MOUNTAIN VIEW’S KIRBY COMMITS TO BOISE STATE

Bryce Kirby, the state leader in the boys 100 and 200 meters this season, signed a letter of intent Wednesday to compete for the Broncos in track and field.

Kirby is the reigning 5A state champion in the 200 and also runs on Mountain View’s state-leading 4x100- and 4x200-relay teams.

Kirby also had offers from Utah State, Wisconsin, Iowa and Washington, he said.

MAXPREPS RECOGNIZES MOUNTAIN VIEW’S SLOCUM, EAGLE SOFTBALL TEAM

• The CBS MaxPreps Girls All-American Basketball team was released earlier this month, and the Idaho Statesman’s 5A All-Idaho Player of the Year Destiny Slocum was named to the third team. Slocum, who is currently a junior, was among 44 players recognized nationally, and the only player from Idaho.



• The undefeated Eagle softball team moved into the MaxPreps Top 25 national high school softball rankings on April 15. The Mustangs made their season debuted at No. 18.



FOOTBALL PRACTICE LIMITS ON DECK

A proposal to limit the amount of hitting in and length of football practices passed a first reading with the IHSAA board Wednesday. It will go for a second and final reading June 17 in order to take effect this fall.

The proposal limits the amount of live contact — one player hitting another, not a bag — to 90 minutes per week. It also states football teams can not practice for more than five hours a day and no practice can last longer than three hours.

Jones said many football coaches already follow those rules. But with safety and concussions a concern, the IHSAA is looking to standardize that across all schools.

“The reason why is when you talk to sports medicine people, it’s recovery time for the body,” Jones said of limiting two-a-day practices. “All these things nobody thought about 20, 30 years ago, they’re starting to come to fruition.

“For some people, it’s going to be a change. I think the vast majority of people will like it, but some will disagree.”

STATE TOURNAMENT VIEWERSHIP DOWN

After years of increasing, online viewership for Idaho’s winter state tournaments leveled off in 2015.

The boys basketball tournament drew the highest viewership to IdahoSports.com with 339,519 estimated live views (5,223 per game), a 3.7 percent decrease from 2014. The 5A championship between Post Falls and Highland drew the most viewers.

The girls basketball tournament drew 190,374 estimated viewers (2,884 per game), an 18 percent decrease. The 2A finals between Firth and Soda Springs was the most watched.

The wrestling tournament drew 32,733 estimated viewers despite technical difficulties on the first day in Pocatello, a 19.5 percent decrease.

Jones said year-to-year fluctuation is common.

“Take boys basketball,” he said. “This year, even though it was less than last year, it’s still higher than any of the previous four years by a fairly high margin.”

NAMPA CHRISTIAN DEDICATES SOFTBALL FIELD

In a ceremony April 15, the school officially named the field at Nampa Christian High on Flamingo Avenue in Nampa “Dr. Martha Hopkins Field.” Hopkins attended the school, which was then called College High, and spent a 34-year teaching and coaching career helping young women grow into leaders through athletics.

VALLIVUE NAMES ATHLETIC DIRECTOR FOR ’16-’17

The Vallivue school board hired former Weiser assistant principal Todd Zucker on April 14 to become an assistant principal/athletic director at Vallivue High beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

Zucker will serve as an assistant principal in 2015-16 until adding athletic director duties in 2016-17 when current Vallivue Athletic Director Jeremy Bergquist moves over to Ridgevue High, the district’s new high school.

Based on enrollment projections, Bergquist said both schools will play at the 4A level once Ridgevue opens.

BOISE HIGH ASSISTANT AD WINS NATIONAL AWARD

Shelly Heath, the assistant athletic director for the Braves for the past seven years, received the 2015 State Award of Merit from the Idaho Athletic Administrators Association, which is provided annually by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

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