Prep boys' school of the year: Bingham
Few schools capture as much attention at the mere mention of their name as Bingham.
The tradition-rich Miners have become known for producing state championship-caliber teams.
It's that tradition that baseball coach Joey Sato holds dear.
"We're the caretakers of what happened way back in the 1930s," Sato said about the baseball program, which has won 21 state titles. "We just want to make sure the old Bingham Miners and their success is preserved. Not every year you're going to win a state title, but you want to give yourself the opportunity to."
That mentality extends throughout Bingham's athletic programs, particularly for the boys. With several solid performances this past year, Bingham was named The Tribune's 2013 Boys' Sports School of the Year.
Along with the baseball championship, the soccer team was state runner-up, football reached the state semifinals and cross-country placed fourth. Track (fifth), golf and wrestling (both seventh) and swimming (ninth) also fared well at state.
"We're lucky and fortunate to be where we're at," Sato said. "Winning is a by-product of our kids working hard. You have to have great athletes, support from the community and an administration that backs athletics. First and foremost, you have to have good athletes. They're what make you successful."
The baseball team ended the season on an 11-game winning streak, including all five playoff games. Top hurler Chase Tavonatti was named the Class 5A state MVP after going 8-1 with a 1.83 ERA and 52 strikeouts. The soccer team overcame six losses to reach the state championship game, while the football team allowed only 150 points (11.5 per game) and won 10 games.
In cross-country, six runners finished within the top 50, while Jacob Barton (113 pounds) and Nick Heninger (195) both placed second at the state wrestling finals. Andrew Brewer (1,600) and Mitch Kalinin (pole vault) won state track titles.
" Our kids expect to be successful, and they're going to work hard," Sato said. "But winning championships isn't the only thing. We want to make them good young men first. When they are good people and have a good work ethic, it translates over to the athletic field. They have a really great set of coaches to work with."
According to Sato, expectations always are high for Bingham teams to succeed. The athletes have accepted meeting that demand.
"Without expectations, where are you going to go?" Sato said. "We've been fortunate to have talented athletes coming through our program."
Mountain Crest • Won state title in swimming and was state runner-up in football and basketball.
Lone Peak • Won state and national titles in basketball and was 5A golf runner-up.
Maple Mountain • Won state titles in golf and wrestling and was second in baseball.