The winningest high school basketball coach in Idaho history is about to check another career milestone off his list.
Rocky Mountain girls coach Emery Roy has 799 career wins, and he has two opportunities this week to reach No. 800.
“It’s been a long time. I never, ever thought about reaching any milestones. They just happened,” Roy said. “I didn’t know if I could even be doing it this long.”
The Grizzlies (5-8, 3-5 5A SIC) play at home Thursday against Eagle (11-2, 6-2) at 7:30 p.m. and then travel to Meridian (2-8, 2-6) for a 1:30 p.m. game Saturday.
Roy began his career at Meridian High in 1978, where he won four state championships. He spent the majority of his career at Centennial High, beginning when the school opened in 1987. Roy won five more titles with the Patriots for an unmatched nine state championships overall.
In the fall of 2012, Roy took over at Rocky Mountain to coach alongside his son Dane Roy, who coaches the Grizzlies’ boys basketball team.
In April, the elder Roy was chosen to coach the West team in the girls McDonald’s All-American Game. At the Chicago-based event, he coached athletes who are now at top programs such as Connecticut, Baylor, Tennessee, North Carolina, Texas and Duke.
Now in his 38th season, Roy has just 148 losses for a winning percentage of 84 percent.
He has no plans to retire anytime soon.
“I can’t seem to get it out of my system for some reason,” Roy said. “As long as I’m healthy and it’s still fun, I’ll probably keep doing it.”
SLOCUM RECEIVES ALL-AMERICAN NOMINATION
Mountain View guard Destiny Slocum, a Maryland signee, is among 429 girls nationwide who have been nominated to play in the 2016 McDonald’s All-American High School Game on March 30 at the United Center in Chicago.
She is the only player — girl or boy — to be chosen from Idaho.
The girls game will be televised at 4:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Last year, the teams were announced in late January.
BORAH COACH, FORMER ASSISTANT SQUARE OFF
For eight years, Manny Varela served as an assistant boys basketball coach at Borah High under Cary Cada.
Varela was a part of two state titles during that span, and also served as the head junior varsity coach.
For the first time Friday, Varela and Cada will face each other on opposing benches.
Varela took over as Boise’s head coach this season, and he has the Braves off to an 8-1 start overall and a 4-1 record in 5A Southern Idaho Conference play.
Boise hosts Cada’s Lions (7-1, 3-1) at 7:30 p.m.
“People are kind of going goofy over this. It’s going to be hard to stay focused, because Manny was incredibly respected and loved (at Borah) by the students,” Cada said. “As a coaching staff, I mean, we love the guy.”
“We’ve had so much fun and such great times together that it’s going to be great to see him, but it’s going to be kind of difficult to get focused in on what we’re actually down there for.”
The Braves and Lions are among five teams with one loss in conference play.
“When I talk to my wife, I tell her, if Cary can walk away from that game and say that he’s impressed by what we did, then I am going to be really satisfied,” Varela said. “His stamp of approval is something that I care about.”
NAMPA COACH JOINS YOTES’ STAFF
Jon Choate resigned Monday as the head of the Nampa football program to accept a job as a linebackers/special teams coach at the College of Idaho.
“The intriguing part is just coaching football, not having to deal with all the other things as a high school football coach,” said Choate, who will still teach at Nampa. “I spend more time fundraising than worried about personnel or scheme or anything else. I’m looking forward to just coaching.”
Choate led Nampa the past four years, posting an 11-25 record, including a 7-11 mark since the Bulldogs made the move to the 5A level two seasons ago.
PAYETTE’S KUDER IN ALL-STAR GAME
Idaho State defensive lineman Tyler Kuder will play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl All-Star Game on Jan. 23, on ESPN2.
The 6-foot-3, 311-pound Payette High graduate played for Montana Western (NAIA) for a season before transferring to Idaho State, where he was first-team All-Big Sky this fall after racking up 92 tackles and 11 tackles for loss. He recorded 10 tackles and two tackles for loss against Boise State this fall.
Former NFL coaches Mike Holmgren and Mike Martz will each coach a team in the all-star event, which is in its fifth year.
FORMER MELBA COACH DIES
Ron Johnshoy, who led the Mustangs’ wrestling program for 13 years, died Dec. 23 in Lakewood, Colo., the Idaho Press-Tribune reported.
Johnshoy, 49, suffered a heart attack in April while running with students. His son, Kyle, took over the wrestling program this season.
Elected to the Melba City Council in 2013, Johnshoy coached his sons Kyle and Jared to a combined seven individual state titles.