Much has been written and said about how tough Idaho State's schedule was this past season. Well, now it becomes apparent the Bengals couldn't even schedule gimme games for their exhibition season. Rocky Mountain College, who ISU beat 70-56 in one of their two pre-season warmups, won the NAIA national championship over Columbia College in Kansas City Tuesday night.
Forward Devin Uskoski, who had 14 points against Idaho State, had his fourth double-double of the NAIA national tournament to lead the unseeded Bears to victory. Uskoski had 24 points and 20 rebounds in the national championship game. Rocky Mountain guard Chase Sukut, brother of former Bengal Chad Sukut, added 11 points.
I'm really happy for Bears coach Bill Dreikosen (above, cutting down the nets), who I've gotten to know through several pre-game interviews I've done as Rocky Mountain has played at ISU over the years. He's one of the truly good guys in the coaching profession, and it's nice to see the good guys do well.
Another Benefit of Having Idaho State in Pocatello
My grandson, Kaleb Pray, and his Holy Spirit Catholic School teammates took part in the 20th Annual Crusader Catholic School Tournament in Reed Gym over the weekend. The Crusaders sixth grade team took third place in the tournament, and my wife and I spent the weekend watching their six games. It was a lot of fun, and the whole experience reinforced to me how lucky we are to have Idaho State University in this town.
All the games were played at Reed Gym and the auxiliary gyms there. The Crusaders were well-coached by Lester Stewart, former team manager for ISU's men's team. And most of the game officials were current or former ISU athletes, including Amorrow Morgan, Sherrod Baldwin, Michael Harris, Demetrius Monroe and Michael Lacey. It was a neat experience for all the kids to be able to interact with the Bengal players/referees. And a lot of the people who worked behind the scenes in supporting the tournament are ISU faculty and staff members.
Sometimes we take ISU's presence and its many benefits for granted. This weekend, I was reminded of how valuable the university is to Pocatello.
Burn, Bengals, Burn
The Boise Burn, an indoor professional football team, announced its roster this week, and it includes two former Bengals: receiver/defensive back Ernie James and offensive/defensive lineman Mark Weivoda. (Players in the indoor leagues typically play both offense and defense). The Burn opens its season Friday night at Tri-Cities.
And thanks for being a Bengal fan -- it ain't always easy, but it's always fun.