4A SIC preseason coaches’ poll
The 4A SIC swells to nine teams this year with the addition of Columbia, Kuna and Nampa. Skyview moved up to 5A, and Mountain Home moved over to the Twin Falls-based District 4.
Team (1st-place votes) Last year Pts
1. Middleton (6) 16-5 78
2. Kuna (2) 11-6 70
3. Bishop Kelly (1) 14-8 65
4. Columbia 9-8 51
5. Vallivue 12-8 39
6. Ridgevue 4-14 33
7. Emmett 5-13 25
8. Nampa 2-13 24
9. Caldwell 4-13 20


THE FAVORITE: The door is open in the 4A SIC for a new champion with Skyview’s move to the 5A classification. Middleton’s only regular-season league losses last season came against the Hawks. The Vikings assume the role of favorite with five starters back and a first-place nod from six of the conference’s nine coaches.

THE CONTENDERS: Kuna advanced to the 5A state play-in game last season and shouldn’t have any trouble competing at the 4A level thanks to the return of five starters. Allison James replaces longtime Kavemen coach Deb Bradburn at the helm.

Bishop Kelly also welcomes back five starters from a team that took third during the regular season and at the district tournament. Six-foot-2 sophomore middle blocker Cece Fitz and junior setter Analise Hitchcock will lead an uptempo offense.

THE DARK HORSE: District Three receives two guaranteed berths to state in 2018 and a third team can advance via play-in. Columbia finished in the middle of the pack in the 5A SIC last season, and the Wildcats’ strong defense could keep them in the mix in 4A. All nine teams in the 4A SIC return at least three starters.