High School Sports in Twin Falls, Idaho
Throughout Southern Idaho, many sons and daughters do not merely follow in their parents’ footsteps, but in their cleat marks and sneaker prints. High school sports is an important part of life in most Southern Idaho communities, and participation in those sports is a love affair that is passed down from generation to generation.
“You look at the record books for these schools and you’ll see the same last names over and over again,” says Jason Carter, the sports director for KMVT-TV in Twin Falls. “And then you go to a game and there will be younger brothers and children playing the same sport and trying to break those records. There will be parents and grandparents and little kids in the stands watching the games. It’s really a family-oriented, community-oriented sports scene.”
The College of Southern Idaho, a community college, has the only collegiate sports program in the region, and there are no major professional sports teams in the state. So high school sports are where most people go to root for their favorite teams.
“If you’re not at a football game around here on a Friday night in the fall, you’re missing out,” Carter says. “It’s the same way with a lot of the other sports as well like basketball and wrestling. It’s a big deal in the community. Everybody around here loves it.”
Allyn Reynolds has spent nearly 30 years coaching football at Twin Falls High School, so he knows firsthand what the sport means to the community.
“It might not be Texas football, but it’s important enough,” Reynolds says. “The school definitely supports it. We offer three programs (varsity, junior varsity, freshman) and our numbers are good. We usually have more than 100 players.”
The love of football extends into many of the smaller communities that do not have enough students to play traditional 11-on-11 football. The solution is an 8-on-8 game that Carter says is a thrill to watch.
“They may have a lack of numbers, but there is never a lack of interest,” Carter says. “You literally will have the entire town out for a high school football game. And the field is so wide open that anything can happen. The final score is usually something like 50-45. It’s unbelievable fun to watch those games.”
The Creation of a Rivalry
The high school sports scene became more competitive a few years ago when student enrollment at Twin Falls High became so large that a second high school, Canyon Ridge, was created. This resulted in an immediate natural rivalry between the two city schools.
In addition, since Twin Falls’ enrollment was reduced, the school was placed in a conference that enables it to play some of the smaller schools in the Southern Idaho region rather than having to travel to larger cities several hours away.
“Most of the teams they play are now within an hour’s drive of Twin Falls,” says Scot McNeley, part-owner of Donnelly Sports. “So overnight that created many rivalries that did not exist in the past. That’s great from a business standpoint. When school starts we always see an increase in spirit wear. Everybody wants to show support for their school.”
Find more on schools in Twin Falls, ID.