The Inland Empire League proved its quality by producing the state champion and seven NCAA Division I prospects.
It wasn’t reflected in the All-State selections, though.
Just two IEL players, Sandpoint senior linebacker Ryan Knowles and Lewiston senior linebacker Laki Ah Hi, were named to first team.
Lewiston coach Nick Menegas, whose 12-0 Bengals captured their second state championship in four years, said the All-State selections were unbelievable.
The Idaho Statesman newspaper in Boise released all-state selections in four classifications in its Sunday editions. Coaches statewide select the teams.
State A-1 Division I champion Centennial placed six players on the first team (the most of any A-1 school), including senior quarterback Matt Swanson. He was a second-team selection in the Southern Idaho Conference behind Borah’s Chuck Nyby.
Lewiston senior quarterback Brad Rice, who along with Ah Hi made oral commitments to Idaho last week, was picked to the second team.
Post Falls senior defensive lineman and tight end Austin Lee was a second-team pick on offense. Lee, the hottest recruited player in the state, has taken trips to Ohio State, Southern Cal and Stanford.
Senior running backs Josh Mort of Post Falls and Jeremy Thielbahr of Sandpoint were second-team selections. Both finished careers with more than 4,000 yards.
IEL players given honorable mention were: Max Peebles, Kurt Sigler, Ben Davis, Nick Rook and Ben Ziegler of Coeur d’Alene; Grant Wright, Levi Frazier, Matt Squires, Rick McCrery, Mickey Hewitt and Ryan Smith of Lewiston; Mike Heston and Josh Dolan of Post Falls; and Adam Morgan, Justin Boeck, Gerrad Campbell, Nate Holland, Caleb Bowman, Carson Jeffres, Ron Moore, J.D. McElroy and Matt Lindgren of Sandpoint.
The Intermountain League was well represented on A-2 All-State teams.
Bonners Ferry senior multipurpose running back Adam Hiatt, St. Maries senior wide receiver Jeremy Craner, Moscow senior offensive lineman Drew Owen and Lakeland senior linebacker Brady White were all named to the first team.
State champion Snake River had seven players picked first team, the most of any A-2 school.
Named to the second team from the IML were St. Maries junior quarterback Skyler Willard, Moscow junior running back Russ Cosgrove, Kellogg senior offensive lineman Tyrel Hendrix and Priest River junior defensive lineman Jeff Griesemer.
IML players receiving honorable mention were Jacob Johnson, Jesse Ross, Rob Mulvaney, Beau Winey, Matt Clark and Todd Van Gundy of Bonners Ferry; Josh Easley, Corey Lewis, Nathan Corkill and Pat Slusher of Kellogg; Chad Lunsford, Mike Larsen and Harrison Bertsch of Lakeland; Chad Curtis and Tony Rinaldi of Moscow; Larry Johnson and Sam Widdifield of Priest River; and Justin Hall, Lane Watkins and Mark Raebel of St. Maries.
No North Star League players were selected to first or second teams.
But there were a handful of players given honorable mention. They were: George Klontz, Mike Conn, Jesse Yanik, Ian Reuter and Nate Stutzke of Clark Fork; Sam Lozeau, Ken Pluff, Buck Allen and Brock Halstead of Lakeside; and Chris Angle and Larry Hammerberg of Mullan.