Prep football: Stansbury out to build winning tradition
Stansbury Park • A perfect 10-0 record is a tremendous start.
But Stansbury knows there's a long road between an undefeated regular season and earning a spot among the traditional Class 3A football powers.
"We made it past the first round and got beat in the second round last year," Stansbury coach Clint Christiansen said. "We haven't proven anything yet. Get to Rice-Eccles and we'll prove something. That's the goal."
The school is in only its fourth year of existence, but the Stallions already are enjoying success on the football field. They posted a 9-2 record and reached the state quarterfinals last season. They're even better this year.
"We want to build a winning tradition and build a tradition of a lot of kids who work hard and want to win," senior Colton May said.
The team dismisses talk about pressure from maintaining a perfect record. The players are worried about bigger things these days.
"I don't think it's a big deal because the playoffs, you lose one, you're out," junior quarterback Chase Christiansen said. "It doesn't really matter how your regular season went."
Of course the accomplishment of reaching the playoffs as one of two undefeated teams in Class 3A Juan Diego is the other team isn't lost on the players.
"The undefeated, it's nice," Chase Christiansen said with a shrug of his shoulders and a grin.
Stansbury ran the table by leaning on a stout defense. The Stallions allowed only 80 points this season and posted four shutouts. Morgan was the lone team to score more than 18 points, in a game Stansbury won 29-28 in overtime.
The Morgan game wasn't the only close call. The Stallions downed Desert Hills 12-7 and squeaked past Grantsville 14-13.
"We stress with our kids it doesn't matter what you did 10-0 means nothing now," coach Christiansen said. "It looks good for the school, gets you in the first round, gets you a No. 1 seed. It means nothing to anybody now."
The road to the state title game is filled with roadblocks for the Stallions. Hurricane and Juan Diego have combined to win the last four Class 3A state titles, and both teams reside in Stansbury's half of the bracket.
The players like the challenge. They welcome it.
"Not necessarily a lot of nerves, but the prospect of playing a Hurricane or Juan Diego, that's exciting," Chase Christiansen said. "You want to see how you measure up against teams that have been proving themselves year after year."
May added: "We all want to prove to the state that we can hang with the big dogs. Best way to do it is to take it all."
Stansbury's journey starts at 5 p.m. Friday against Union.
Past five 3A state champions
2011 • Hurricane
2010 • Juan Diego
2009 • Juan Diego
2008 • Juan Diego
2007 • Logan