Varsity Extra

Varsity Extra notebook: Columbia High hires boys basketball coach

Sofia Huerta, a former Centennial High and FC Nova girls soccer player, begins her second season as a pro on Saturday with the Chicago Red Stars.
Sofia Huerta, a former Centennial High and FC Nova girls soccer player, begins her second season as a pro on Saturday with the Chicago Red Stars. Statesman file

TRIPPLE TAKES OVER COLUMBIA BOYS BASKETBALL

Former Albertson College player Tennison Tripple, 38, inherits a program that has struggled since moving up to 5A two years ago.

Columbia has lost 50 straight games and is 0-44 since joining the state’s largest classification, getting outscored by 35.5 points a game.

Tripple’s hire was announced Wednesday.

“They’ve gone to 5A, but actually I like it because we get to play against the best competition night in, night out,” Tripple said. “It’s going to challenge you, and who doesn’t want to be challenged? Who doesn’t want to play against the best?

“If you want that, you can come play for me, and we’ll get after it and we’ll get this thing turned around where we can start winning some ballgames and start making some noise.”

Tripple, accepting his first head coaching job, was an assistant at Nampa last season and at Vallivue two years ago. He also coached at his alma mater, Pocatello’s Highland High, after his career at Albertson, now the College of Idaho.

The owner of Tripple Auto Sales in Meridian set the NAIA record for career free throw percentage at 92 percent (128-for-139) with the Yotes.

“Free throws will be a thing for our school,” he joked.

EAGLE MAINTAINS NATIONAL RANKINGS

The Mustangs’ softball team beat defending district champ Mountain View 11-5 on Thursday, improving to 17-0 overall and 10-0 in the 5A Southern Idaho Conference.

The reigning state champs held their spots in a pair of national polls this week. Eagle remains No. 2 in the USA Today High School Sports/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Super 25. It is No. 3 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25.

The Mustangs have outscored opponents 237-9 and have mercy-ruled all but four opponents — Kuna, Rocky Mountain, Mountain View and Eagle’s own JV team in the Sugar Town Softball Tournament final.

HUERTA BEGINS SECOND YEAR

Centennial graduate Sofia Huerta kicks off her sophomore campaign as a pro Saturday, when the Chicago Red Stars open the National Women’s Soccer League season at the Houston Dash.

Huerta scored six goals in 19 games as a rookie, tied for eighth most in the league, and earned a spot on the league’s second team in 2015.

BORAH HIRES GIRLS SOCCER COACH

Steve Tipping coached the Lions’ varsity boys team from 2000-09, highlighted by four state runner-up finishes.

The former UC Santa Barbara goalkeeper, who is a biology teacher at Borah, previously stepped away from coaching to spend more time with his family.

But when Borah administrators asked him to replace Steve Lucas — who resigned in February to become the head women’s coach at Pacific University in Oregon — Tipping couldn’t resist.

“I missed working with the kids, so it seemed like the right move to come back,’’ he said.

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