The highlights of the sporting year in Gem County almost sneak up on you. For the most part, the year was routine – unremarkable even. That’s at first glance. There were no ticker-tape parade moments for area teams, but a steady accumulation of individual performances. Performances of perseverance and improvement and a lot of personal bests posted.
Emmett High wrestling starts the year off strong with seniors Sam Hyde and Monte Zufelt medaling at the elite Rollie Lane Invitational.
Boys and girls basketball have to fight for wins at the 4A level but see strong individual performances. Brett Kern continues to post big scoring nights for the Huskie boys. The guard combo of Gemma LaVergne and Jazzy Jenkins trade nights of setting new school standards for three-point shooting.
Emmett High adopts a new logo in response to a request from the University of Connecticut to cease using the previous Huskie image on the grounds that it violated a UConn trademark.
The ninth Freezeout Challenge saw new faces cross the finish line first with 12K titles claimed by Max Louth and Amber Nickelson.
Monte Zufelt caps an historic wrestling career at Emmett High, winning his third consecutive State wrestling championship. He had been upset in the District III finals the previous week but left no doubt in sweeping to the State medal in Pocatello. Zufelt was one point away from a four-peat as he lost a single-point decision in the title match as a freshman. No other Huskie has ever won three State crowns.
Sam Hyde won the District III 120 pound championship wrestling and finished third at State, his third straight State medal podium appearance. Also earning All-State status were junior Jake Johnson (6th) and sophomore Lane Feasal Dalton (4th) .
Despite a school record per-game scoring average of nearly 25 points per game from senior Brett Kern, the boys basketball season ends at 3-18.
Spring sports, as usual, dance around weather delays to get started. Middle School football players have their first ever “Letter of Intent” day as they sign a commitment to play football at Emmett High in the coming year.
The first indication of an exceptional season in store for a couple of EHS track athletes came at the Boise Relays. Sophomore Lacy Yates and freshman Landon Helms set school records in their respective specialties – the discus and pole vault.
Wrestlers Zufelt and Hyde sign college letters of intent to pursue their athletic and academic careers at Eastern Oregon University. Brett Kern signs a basketball LOI with Walla Walla Community College.
Emmett Judo celebrated its 50th year of hosting a regional Judo tournament at Emmett High.
Mid-May is State championship time in Idaho high school spring sports.
For the first time in ten years, the Emmett High golf team qualified for State, It placed fifth in Twin Falls in the two-day championships with a five man team made no seniors.
Landon Helms made his mark at the State 4A track championships at Eagle High School. The freshman won two events and placed third in a third. His 15’6’’ winning jump in the pole vault advanced a school record he had broken numerous times during the season and set a new State record as well. He won the 110 meter hurdles and placed third in the 200 hurdles.
Gemma LaVergne medaled twice at State, claiming second in the 800 meters and sixth in the 3,200 meters. Lacy Yates, competing on a broken foot that would require surgery, claimed third in the discus, an event she had won as a sophomore.
Zufelt and fellow senior Abby Knight, who played soccer and basketball for EHS, were named the Messenger Index Senior Athletes of the Year.
Emmett’s Valley Pump Huskies won the Intermediate division Little League Championship over SW Ada to complete a 16-1 season.
Helms receives the Idaho Press Sports Stars Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year award for 2018-19. He follows that up by winning the 110 meters and the pole vault for freshmen at the New Balance National Outdoors in North Carolina.
Dali Biggers and Sterling Rogers represented EHS at the Idaho High School State Rodeo Finals in Pocatello.
The Emmett Dawgs win the U-13 Outlaw baseball championship at the Longball Legends Tournament in Middleton.
Gran Fondo bike challenge brought international field through Gem County. Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong and Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong (no relation) were among the riders who challenged the 80 mile course that utilized gravel roads and elevations in Gem County.
Emmett legion baseball’s Blue Devils win the District title.
Blue Devils make it to the State semi-finals in Legion baseball.
Rodeo takes center stage at the Gem/Boise County Fair and Rodeo.
The 48th Annual Nightfire Nationals burn rubber at Firebird Raceway and Arm Drop drags become a regular event at the “Mill Motorplex”
Second Annual Cory Holm Heart and Hustle Softball Tournament draws an 18-team field to Emmett.
Emmett bowler KT Simpson makes an impression on the Professional Women’s Bowling Association national tour.
EHS boys soccer opens the season with six straight wins after going winless for two years.
Road course designs for a sports car racing facility in Emmett are unveiled.
EHS bid to reclassify its sports teams to 3A level is rejected by Idaho High School Activities Association.
Emmett High football comes up a game short of State 4A Football playoffs,
Boys soccer makes historic turnaround and win first 4A State soccer trophy. Senior Kiko Solis sets school records for goals scored in the season with 42.
Emmett boys soccer coach Aristeo Alvizo named District III coach of the year after dramatic turnaround season. Kiko Solis and Oscar Lara-Sandoval also receive All-District first team honors. Goldie Mumford awarded first-team girls soccer honors for the second consecutive year.
New recreation access to the Payette River is open at the west end of the Seven-mile Slough west of Emmett. This is the third area to be improved on in the past 18 months. Previous improvements made at the Plaza Bridge and Sheep Camp Landing near Letha. A proposed fourth access to be installed at the Gem Island Complex is awaiting final approval from the Army Corp of Engineers.