Varsity Extra

Notebook: New online broadcaster to replace IdahoSports?

Lewiston’s Riley Way dives back to second base just before the tag from Timberline shortstop Parker Price during last season’s 5A state tournament. MaxPreps chose Price as Idaho’s top baseball player in a state-by-state preview.
Lewiston’s Riley Way dives back to second base just before the tag from Timberline shortstop Parker Price during last season’s 5A state tournament. MaxPreps chose Price as Idaho’s top baseball player in a state-by-state preview. jjaszewski@idahostatesman.com

The Idaho High School Activities Association board of directors approved a five-year webcasting contract last week with the NFHS Network for all state tournaments beginning in the 2016-17 school year.

The board will have to approve it again at its April 6 meeting to finalize the deal, but IdahoSports .com owner Paul Kingsbury thinks he can convince enough board members to change their vote.

IdahoSports.com has served as the IHSAA’s exclusive online broadcaster for state tournament events since the 2005-06 school year. But the NFHS Network, active in 44 states, submitted a bid paying the IHSAA $45,000 for each of the first three years and $65,000 in each of the final two years.

IdahoSports’ bid was $10,000 per year, plus 60 percent of any revenue it makes on high-definition web broadcasts. Standard definition will remain free, Kingsbury said.

“Like anything else, as costs rise and things cost more, we’re trying to do the best we can to leverage the assets that we have,” IHSAA Executive Director Ty Jones said. “We’re trying to be mindful we are a nonprofit, but we don’t get everything for free.”

The NFHS Network charges for all of its broadcasts — $9.95 for a day pass, $14.95 a month or $119.95 a year.

The deal requires the NFHS Network to broadcast state championship events in football, basketball, wrestling, track, cheer and dance. It also requires state soccer championship games when the necessary stadium facilities are available. It doesn’t apply to regular season or district tournament events.

Kingsbury said his company provides the IHSAA with more than just championship events.

“We do volleyball,” he said. “It’s not required by state, but we do it. This year, we did 43 state playoff football games. We’re only required to do six. We did 132 state basketball games. We’re only required to do 12.

“We believe that the 1A Division II girls Thursday game is just as important as the 5A boys championship. That’s why we do it.”

Other news from the IHSAA meeting:

▪  The growth of the 4A SIC from six to eight teams starting this fall allows the league four automatic berths into the football playoffs. Previously, the league had three automatic berths and could compete for an at-large spot.

The league adds Emmett, Vallivue and Ridgevue, a new school in the Vallivue School District, this fall, while losing Kuna to 5A.

▪  The 1A state softball tournament will expand from four teams to six this spring. The seven-team 1A Western Idaho conference will send its top three teams.

The 1A baseball tournament will remain at four teams, Wilder coach Kyle DalSoglio said.

EAGLE SOFTBALL TURNS TO ASSISTANT

Former assistant coach Nicole Rollins will take over the program this spring.

Rollins steps in for Doug Corta, who died in November at 47 due to a brain tumor. Corta led the Mustangs to the state tournament six times in seven years, including the 5A title last spring, when Eagle finished 30-1 and was ranked as the No. 10 team in the nation, according to the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.

BK SKIER TO COMPETE IN YOUTH OLYMPICS

Nikita Rubocki, 16, is ranked 22nd in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) and is one of six Americans on the freeskiing team slated to compete Feb. 12-21 in the Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.

The Bishop Kelly sophomore has a handful of podium finishes on the Revolution Tour over the past couple of years and finished 11th in slopestyle at the 2015 FIS Freestyle Ski Junior World Championships in Italy.

The Youth Olympic Games debuted its winter event in 2012 at Innsbruck, Austria. Held every four years, it features more than 1,100 athletes ages 15 to 18. Freeskiing events include halfpipe, slopestyle and skicross.

BOISE GIRLS RAISE MONEY FOR CANCER

The basketball team’s eighth annual Pink Zone event Jan. 22 raised $2,260 for the local chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Boise coach Kim Brydges said. That’s an increase of nearly $700 from last year, Brydges said.

TIMBERLINE’S PRICE RECEIVES HONOR

Shortstop/pitcher Parker Price, the reigning Gatorade Idaho Player of the Year, was chosen as the top preseason player in the state by MaxPreps.

The Gonzaga commit helped the Wolves win the state title last season, hitting .427 with 14 doubles, five triples and one home run. He also stole 22 bases and had 28 RBIs. On the mound, Price was 13-2 with 43 strikeouts in 63 innings.

MTN. VIEW GRAD SETS E. OREGON RECORD

Eric England, the 2012 5A state triple jump champion, wasted no time making his mark at Eastern Oregon, setting the school record in his first meet as a Mountaineer.

The redshirt junior unfurled a jump of 50 feet, 10.25 inches Saturday to win the Bronco Invitational at the Ford Sports Center in Nampa. The previous school record was 49-0.75, and his mark stands as the top NAIA jump early in the indoor season.

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