Looking ahead to 2009, strong high school soccer programs like Hailey's Wood River High School girls' team were planning to travel to northern Idaho if they qualified for next year's State 4A soccer meet.
The Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) put the skids on that plan during its board meeting Dec. 9.
At the request of executive director John Billetz, the IHSAA board approved moving 2009 state soccer tournaments (5A, 4A, 3A) back to the Boise Valley. Previously, tentative 2009 sites had been Post Falls, near Coeur d'Alene, for 4A, Pocatello for 5A and Buhl 3A.
The fact that northern Idaho is hosting both state volleyball and cross country next fall—and no state tournaments during the fall of 2010—affected the board decision, which will have its final reading at the IHSAA meeting in Jan. 2009.
At the Dec. 9 board meeting, Bishop Kelly of Boise requested that Brothers Park in Caldwell—site of this year's State 4A soccer—become the permanent site for the State 4A meet. But as of now, 2010 state soccer will return to its rotation of southern (3A), eastern (5A) and northern Idaho (4A).
The 2008 state soccer tournaments in the Boise area were profitable as they turned out, earning $5,573, Billetz told the board. In contrast, state volleyball in Idaho Falls, Kimberly and Burley lost $3,116 and state cross country at Eagle Island near Boise lost about $7,000.
With the addition of two Twin Falls high schools, the Great Basin West 4A ranks will grow from four schools, including Wood River, to six schools starting in 2009-10. So the GBW league will be awarded an automatic two berths to the State 4A tournament in 2009.
Planned bracketing and pairings for the 2009 State 4A soccer have the GBW Fourth District winner opening up against the 6B/3C playoff winner, and the GBW runner-up playing the District 6 champ.