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A new coach isn’t the only change the Buffaloes face this season.
After reaching two consecutive 4A state title games, the Buffaloes were placed back in Class 3A.
Former Canyon View coach Melanie Nelson and former Tooele player Whitnie Griffith took the helm of the Buffaloes softball team after the resignations of three-year coach Steve Snow and assistant Mike Mendenhall.
A decade ago, Snow and Mendenhall set Tooele’s future dominance in motion with the formation of the Tooele County Thunder youth league.
The Buffaloes have played in nine consecutive state title games, in classes 3A and 4A. Tooele and Spanish Fork, who battled for the 4A title last season, now join Bear River, Union and Canyon View in 3A, which many now deem the toughest softball classification in the state.
It’s far from a demotion. Rather, the classification is stacked with powerhouses like Bear River, Union and Canyon View. The addition of perennial 4A power Spanish Fork, which edged Tooele for the 4A state title last season, makes for a challenging road to the 3A title.
"This classification may be the most tough, the most deep in the state," Nelson said.
But, true to form, a championship always remains the Buffaloes’ goal.
"We’re never really satisfied with anything else," Sorenson said. "But this year, we’re also focused on coming together and accepting change."
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