Herriman gets No. 1 seed in 4A football playoffs
Representatives from Herriman and Skyline came to Olympus on Monday morning for a coin flip one that would determine the seeding of the three football teams that had tied for the Region 7 title.
Flip one: All tails. Flip two: All tails. Flip three: All heads.
But on the fourth flip, the Herriman Mustangs were the ones who got lucky, beating out the Titans and Eagles for the No. 1 seed and the school's first-ever homefield playoff game. By virtue of Olympus' head-to-head victory over Skyline, the Titans got a No. 2 seed, while the Eagles will have to go on the road for the first round of the 4A football postseason.
It was music to the ears of Herriman coach Larry Wilson, who says he's often come up on the wrong side of the coin. His history is so unlucky, he sent assistant Danny Dupaix in his stead to flip for the Mustangs.
"Word spread around pretty quick," Wilson said. "It's pretty tremendous for our school and community. That's the one thing about starting a new program: You get to experience so many firsts. You get to have those and share those with the community, and it's a whole different feeling."
The tricky factor in the 4A bracket, however, is that none of the teams know who they're going to to play next week. Region 6 teams are lined up against them in the bracket, but the top overall seed East could still be facing sanctions after discovering possible ineligible athletes, and Woods Cross, Bountiful and Highland are all tied for second right behind the Leopards.
The forecast for who Herriman, Olympus and Skyline will play? Clear as mud.
"From a bracket standpoint, you don't know who you're going to play next," Wilson said. "Whoever it is out of Region 6 is going to be a tough first-round match-up. ... You just have to respect every opponent as best you can."
Herriman will actually play the winner of a play-in game between the Region 6 No. 4 seed and the Region 8 No. 5 seed.
Skyline will face their playoff opponent on the road, but in one way, coach Steve Marlowe sees the Region 6 mix-up as a sign that seeding doesn't make or break a team. The difference between the Braves, the Rams and the Wildcats is virtually negligible.
"It would have been nice being No. 1, but we're not too worried about it," Marlowe said. "There's so many things that can happen, it doesn't even make a huge difference. We might get on the bus and drive five minutes to Highland."
Marlowe also pointed out the last time the Eagles won the championship in 2005, they played every game on the road. A comparison might be a tad optimistic, but shows that Skyline doesn't lack for confidence even if a coin flip didn't go its way.