Borah High School

Borah High School

Infobox school
name = Borah High School

city = Boise
state = Idaho
country = USA
oversight =
principal = Greg Frederick
students = 1,531
faculty = 85
type = Public
mascot = Lions
colors = Green and Gold
grades = 10-12
established = 1958
free_label = IHSAA Division
free_text = 5A
website = [ Borah High School]

Borah High School is a senior high school located in Boise, Idaho, comprising grades 10-12. It is named after William E. Borah, a prominent U.S. Senator.

The school opened in the fall of 1958 at the base of the second Boise bench, on what would later become Cassia Street in southwest Boise. Borah was the second high school in the Boise School District, preceded by Boise High School in 1903, and followed by Capital in the north in 1966, and Timberline in the southeast (converted from Les Bois Junior High) in 1999.

Mascot & colors

The Borah mascot is the lion, and the school's slogan is "The Lions of Idaho," a play on the nickname of namesake William E. Borah, a U.S. Senator from 1907-40. Borah was known in the Senate as the "Lion of Idaho" for his outspoken stance on a variety of issues. During the school's first year (1958-59), the Boise daily newspaper "The Idaho Statesman" often referred to the Borah's athletic teams as the "Senators." A 1999 school newspaper article noted that Borah's original students did not particularly like the unofficial nickname, and later adopted the lion as the official mascot. The school colors of Borah High School are green & gold.

tudent body

In April 2005, the school enrollment was 1,538; 500 seniors, 498 juniors, and 540 sophomores. [] 2% of the school's graduating seniors enrolled in post-secondary education.

Borah students outperformed the national average in all categories of the 2003-04 ACT and SAT testsFact|date=February 2007.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Borah had nearly 2000 students, with over 600 students per class.


The school sits on a sprawling campus, with five permanent buildings, connected by an outdoor "breezeway". The original campus of 1958 featured three primary structures:
* The main classroom building, with a designated hall for each of the three grade levels, cafeteria, library, main office, auditorium, and other assorted features;
* The "Math Hall" building, housing mathematics classes and industrial arts shops;
* The "Old Gym," containing the original gym, locker rooms, weight rooms, gymnastics/wrestling room, and athletic department offices. It also included rooms used for band, orchestra, choir, and publications (newspaper & yearbook). The basement weight room was originally constructed as an ROTC indoor firing range.

Two additions in the late 1990s:

* "New Gym," a larger gymnasium was added to the campus in ? at the south end of the area known as the "U," a driveway entrance (and exit) from Cassia Street that originally surrounded a football/soccer field. It is currently under construction.
* In 1999 a larger auditorium was constructed on the west end of campus, between the original gymnasium and the running track, south of the tennis courts.

Bryce Weaver is the ASB Treasurer for the 08-09 school year

Outdoor athletic facilities

On-campus outdoor athletic facilities include the baseball stadium, "Bill Wigle Field," the home field for the Lions and summer American Legion teams. The field is the past home for several minor league teams in the Class A Northwest League: the Boise A's (1975-76), independent Boise Buckskins (1978), and Boise Hawks (1987-88). It also hosted Boise State for its final season of varsity baseball in 1980. The BSU baseball field was displaced by the construction of the BSU Pavilion.

The field is named for Bill Wigle, the longtime varsity baseball coach who won state championships at Borah in 1976 and 1981, and stepped down following the 1982 season. Before 1983, the field was known simply as "Borah Field." After a 24 year drought, the Borah baseball team won the state championship in 2005.

Outdoor batting cages were constructed in 1980 along the third base line, and indoor cages were added in the 1990s. The baseball facilities are located in the southeast corner of campus, with the Farmers' Lateral irrigation canal running behind the right field wall. The field is awkwardly aligned, with the batter and catcher facing southeast, resulting in serious sun difficulties for the fielders on the left side of the diamond during evening games.(The recommended alignment of a baseball diamond is east-northeast) []

At the northwest corner of campus is a synthetic-rubber 400 meter (437.4 yard) running track, with a practice field in its infield.(Into the 1980s, the track was red cinder.) Between the baseball stadium and running track are several other fields used for athletic competitions, team practices, physical education classes, and other extracurricular activities. The southern border of campus is defined by an irrigation canal (Farmers Lateral Canal), cut out of the base of the second Boise bench. The tennis courts are just east of the running track, on the north edge of campus.

Like the other public high schools in Boise (and Ada County), Borah's varsity football team does not play its home games on campus, rather on the blue synthetic turf of Bronco Stadium of Boise State University, four miles to the east.


From its inception in 1958 to the early 1980s, Borah was the dominant high school football program in the state. Borah's first head coach was Ed Troxel, who was previously head coach at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. In Troxel's nine seasons at Borah (1958-66), he compiled a record of 78-6-2 (.918), winning the Southern Idaho Conference (SIC) and unofficial state title (writers' poll) 8 times; finishing as state runner-up the other year. Troxel left Borah in 1967 to become an assistant coach at the University of Idaho, and its head coach in 1974.

De Pankratz, an assistant under Troxel, took over as head coach in 1967 with continued success, and compiled additional SIC and state titles. After Borah went undefeated in 1978, a state playoff system was finally introduced in 1979 to determine an official state champion, via an 8-team tournament (3 rounds). Borah advanced to the A-1 state finals in each of the first three years, playing cross-town rival Boise High each year (Class "A-1" became "5A" in 2001).

In November 1979, the once-defeated Borah Lions decisively won 38-0 to grab the first official state title, and finished with a record of 11-1. Their only defeat was in the fifth game of the season to Capital 28-27, which snapped a 14-game winning streak. Borah had outscored its first four opponents 161-9. Borah then won the last four games of the regular season 167-41. After a closer-than-expected win (by 15 points) in the quarterfinals over Highland (of Pocatello), Borah shut out Lewiston 42-0 in the semifinals, and Boise 38-0 in the finals. This brought Borah's all-time record against rival Boise to 22-2 (.916), the only losses coming in 1964 & 1977. The 1977 Lions were an uncharacteristic 5-5, but rebounded to a 10-0 record in 1978. The 1979 Lions were led by the backfield of QB Lance Dunne and running backs Randy Holmes and Darren Corpus, both three-year starters.

In 1980 the twice-defeated Lions lost the state title game on a close play at the goal line as time ran out, and finished the season at 9-3. Borah had avenged their regular season loss (14-16) to Capital in the state semifinals with a 27-19 victory, but narrowly lost to Boise High for the second time in the 1980 season. In the regular season the Lions had wins over two powerful out-of-state teams: Medford, Oregon away and Pinole Valley, California at home in Boise. The 1980 Lions were led by QB John Day.

In November 1981, undefeated Borah easily won the state title, defeating the Boise Braves 30-13 in the Lions' closest game of the year (17 points). (In the regular season Borah had shutout Boise 27-0.) Pankratz's dominating 1981 team handily beat the same two powerful out-of-state programs: Medford, Oregon 36-6 at home and Pinole Valley, California 27-8 away, and compiled a perfect 12-0 record, with two shutouts. The Lions were unchallenged all season, winning by an average score of 37-9, earning a national top-20 ranking in multiple publications. Borah extended its dominance over Boise to a cumulative record of 24-4 (.857). The 1981 Lions were led by the backfield of southpaw QB Bob Wheeler and running backs Mark Tidd and Greg Harrison. Pankratz ranked the 1981 team among his best ever; along with the 1969, 1970, 1975, 1978, and 1979 teams.

Four months later, the Borah varsity basketball team would also win the state title, as would the track & field team in May (the second of four straight), for a rare triple state title for the class of 1982. (The Borah baseball team finished fifth in state in 1982, after taking first in 1981, a state title led by seniors Greg Hunnicutt, Jim Rice, Daryl Zarbnisky, Bert Thompson, Jeff Marker, Tim Valdez, and John Day.

Unfortunately, the Borah football program has not been as successful in recent years, and the state title of November 1981 is its most recent on the gridiron.

Notable football players from Borah include Steve Preece ('65),Cedric Minter ('77), and Andrew Stobart ('02).


For many years the Borah music department has been one of the best in Idaho. Borahs choirs have won several competitions. The Borah orchestra has also won D3 competitions. The elite Borah Jazz Band has won several Gene Harris festivals and received superior ratings at D3. The Roaring Lion Marching Band in October 2007 won outstanding music and was awarded first place at the 'Treasure Valley Festival of Bands' (TVFOB). At D3 the marching earned 4th place. The Borah Symphonic band has also been successful in the D3 competition almost always receiving superior ratings. On April 17th 2008 the Borah Symphonic Band earned a superior rating for D3 festival.Last year April 2007 the Borah Choir, Orchestra and Symphonic Band were awarded high honors in the Seattle competition. Competing against several bands from around the western US.The proud people behind this all are Mrs. Prinzing, Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Maughan.

Misc. extra-curriculars

The school's yearbook is "The Safari" and its monthly student newspaper is "The Senator". Borah also has a collection of clubs including: Key Club, Young Democrats, Republicans and Independents, National Honor Society, German, Spanish, Latin, French, and Japanese Club, Rowdies and Pirates. Every year there is an awards assembly known as the "Senator's Choice Assembly" where they honor outstanding students, teachers, and former students. The students and former students are awarded with a dark green blanket with the Senator's Choice emblem in the corner.

External links

* [ Borah High School]
* [ Borah H.S. Class of 1968] class web site
* [ Ed Troxel] - first Borah football coach 1958-66; Tri-City - 24-Jan-2001
* [ Ed Troxel honored] Tri-City - 28-Jan-2001
* [ TerraServer] - Aerial photo (1998) and USGS topo map

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