At 24, Andy Miles is about the youngest head coach in Idaho high school boys’ basketball—and he’ll bring about the youngest team in the Gem State onto the floor this week when the Wood River High School boys’ varsity opens its season.
Wood River debuts its 19-game season slate today, Wednesday at Kimberly and hosts 3A squads Filer and Gooding Friday, Nov. 30 and Tuesday, Dec. 4. Miles has welcomed 34 players and there will be varsity, junior varsity and freshmen squads this winter.
Miles, a 2006 graduate of Idaho Falls High School, was a volunteer assistant freshman basketball coach for Wood River last winter. He helped Wolverine football coach Kevin Stilling with wide receivers and defensive backs this fall.
This is the first head coaching job for Miles, who was a second-team All-State wide receiver for the Idaho Falls High School football team and also played small forward in basketball and was a right-handed knuckleball pitcher in baseball for the eastern Idaho Tigers.
He’s excited about the opportunity in Hailey.
Miles said, “This is awesome. I can’t wait to play Kimberly. We’re very young and inexperienced, but the kids are very hardworking and coachable. They’re willing to do anything.”
Just last week, Wood River athletic director John Rade formally announced Miles would replace Billy Zei as the Wolverine head varsity coach. Zei, last year’s head freshman coach, was promoted to head varsity coach in April, replacing Rick Bradshaw. But Rade said Zei had since moved to Texas for career opportunities.
Rade said about Miles, “The lack of coaching experience will be compensated with his ability to create and maintain positive relationships with athletes, his passion for the game of basketball and his desire for basketball knowledge.”
Having lost 10 seniors and a top rebounder (Ben Williams, knee injury) from last winter’s 2-19 Wolverine squad that lost its final 14 games, Miles will have his work cut out for him. Virtually no point scorers have returned from a team that struggled on offense at 37.4 ppg.
Miles is the eighth Wood River head coach in 20 years since the Hailey boys last posted a winning record, for coach Norm Cook in 1992. Since then, Wood River has won 10 or more games only three times and has an overall 104-332 record including 49-138 at home and 37-164 in league play.
But there is plenty of athletic potential coming up.
The freshman boys had a 12-4 record for coach Fred Trenkle last winter and placed second in the seven-team Magic Valley Athletic Conference. They played a bunch of close games. Only nine points stood between the eighth-grade Hailey boys and an unbeaten league season.
Although Wood River’s four seniors are inexperienced, 6-7 junior Max Mauldin and 6-4 junior Eron Bates provide solid front-court height to build around. The coach said there is a lack of pure shooters. Miles hopes his offense will compensate for any such drawbacks.
Miles said, “We’ll run a Princeton-style offense, four-out and four-in, the same kind Villanova has run successfully. It offers flashing, cutting, high screens and back doors. That sort of offense and our height advantages will fit our kids.
“On defense we’ll go straight man-to-man and rely on lots of communication.”
Friday’s home opener against Filer will include a “Teddy Bear Toss,” benefiting the Sawtooth Board of Realtors’ Community Holiday Baskets program that helps families in need during the holiday.
Wood River cheerleading coach Amanda Ornelas said spectators are asked to bring a new, unwrapped, stuffed animal to throw onto the court at halftime of the boys’ varsity game. There will be prizes (gift certificates) for the biggest and most unique teddy bears.
Fred Trenkle Night Dec. 20
Recently retired Blaine County teacher and longtime basketball coach Fred Trenkle of Shoshone will be honored Thursday, Dec. 20 during Wood River’s home basketball game with the Buhl Tribe.
Athletic director John Rade made the announcement Monday. He said, “Dec. 20, 2012 will be Fred Trenkle Night at Wood River High School. We will recognize Fred's dedication at halftime of the boys’ varsity basketball game against Buhl.”
Here is the Wood River roster for 2012-13:
Head coach, Andy Miles (1st year). Assistant coach, J.C. Nemecek.
Seniors (4): Edwin Garcia, 5-10 guard; Michael Moffett, 5-9 forward; Jose Hernandez, 6-0 guard; and Nickolaus Brunker, 5-11 guard/forward.
Juniors (5): Eron Bates, 6-4 forward; Finn Isaacson, 6-3 guard/forward; Skylar Davie, 5-8 guard; Max Mauldin, 6-7 forward/center; and Kevin Hernandez, 6-3 forward/center.
Sophomores (4): Connor Hayes, 5-7 guard; Jonathon Scott, 6-0 forward; Cody Carter, 6-2 guard/forward; and Kole Mauldin, 6-2 guard/forward.
Freshmen (1): Alec Nordsieck, 5-11 guard.
Head coach, Steve Scott.
Juniors (5): Nate Merklingaus, 6-2 guard/forward; Armando Gomez, 5-9 guard/forward; Chase Hutchinson, 6-3 forward/center; Maxwell Mihalic, 6-4 forward/center; and JV/V swing player Skylar Davie.
Sophomores (9): Aramys Gallegos, 5-5 guard; Santiago Gomez, 5-8 guard; Samuel Burns, 6-1 forward; Alberto Gonzalez, 5-9 forward; Parker Bingham, 6-3 forward/center; and JV/V swing players Connor Hayes, Jonathon Scott, Kole Mauldin and Cody Carter.
Head coach, Chris Koch. Assistant coach, Lewis Garza.
Ninth graders (11): Nelson Cantrell, 5-4 guard; Lane Felger, 5-10 guard; Wyatt Johnson, 5-6 guard; Austin Shetler, 5-10 guard; Jordan Bjorkman, 5-10 forward; Emmitt Stevens, 5-10 guard; Drew Kaminski, 5-11 guard; Ivan Aguayo, 5-7 guard; Nic Tidwell, 5-11 forward; Wesley Moore, 5-10 forward; and Tyson Spellman, 6-2 center.