Barring bad weather that is always a possibility in late May, Utah’s long high school sports season should end Friday night when the final pitch of the state baseball tournament is thrown.
This is the time of year when families from Laketown to Kanab, from Wendover to Vernal, and dozens of big and small cities in between spend their spare time following their prep athletes to golf courses, tennis courts, tracks, soccer fields and baseball diamonds where state championships will be determined.
Top 10 spring stories so farGrantsville celebrates school’s 100th anniversary with 3A baseball title as Clay Matthews hits grand slam.
» Spanish Fork baseball coach Shoe Nelson trying to retire with one last state title.
» Desert Hills’ Katie Perkins defends 3A individual golf title with three-under 69.
» Emery wins three games in a single day to capture 2A baseball title.
» Waterford beats Rowland Hall in overtime to claim 2A soccer championship.
» Ogden’s Sarah Feeny sets state records in 3,200 and 1,600 meters and wins 800 meters.
» Woods Cross’ Cam Dopp earns four gold medals to lead Wildcats to state track title.
» Viewmont’s Sam Tullis wins third straight singles titles and helps Vikes repeat as champions.
» Anjalee Batchelor hits two home runs to lead Stansbury to second straight 3A softball crown.
» Region 1 puts three teams — Viewmont, Layton and Fremont — in Class 5A soccer semifinals.
Who has won state titles so far in spring?
2A » Emery
3A » Grantsville
2A » Manti
3A » Stansbury
2A » Waterford
3A » Dixie
2A » Waterford
3A » Juan Diego
4A » Mountain View
5A » Viewmont
5A » Davis
4A » Provo
3A » Desert Hills
2A » Delta
1A » Milford
5A » Riverton
4A » Woods Cross
3A » Desert Hills
2A » Grand
1A » Panguitch
5A » Herriman
4A » Box Elder
3A » Park City
2A » North Summit
1A » Panguitch
It’s a season of camp chairs, shade devices, camera phones, medals and trophies, where athletes and their families experience the highs of winning a state title, the lows of near misses and the satisfaction of simply participating.
The school athletic year began last summer when football teams began their two-a-days under the scorching sun.
It will end sometime Friday night on a baseball field with 5A and 4A baseball titles on the line. Softball is scheduled to end Thursday with 5A and 4A tournaments at the Valley Complex in Taylorsville, while boys’ 4A and 5A soccer titles will be determined Thursday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Plenty of drama remains.
Consider boys’ soccer.
In Class 5A, Riverton is crashing what has become a Region 1 party, with the semifinals set for Tuesday at Woods Cross. Region 1 champion Viewmont plus league rivals Fremont and Layton remain in the mix, with the Vikings looking like the definite favorite. The championship match is at 7 p.m. championship game at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Class 4A teams staged memorable quarterfinal games, with Box Elder winning in double overtime, Maple Mountain in overtime and Logan beating Murray 5-4 in penalty kicks. With a 3-1 quarterfinal victory over Salem Hills, Skyline is looking strong with semifinals set for Tuesday at Woods Cross. The title match is at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Rio Tinto.
Spanish Fork remains the big story as the Class 4A and 5A baseball tournaments head into their final week. Dons’ coach Shoe Nelson, retiring after 29 years, recently became the winningest prep baseball coach in Utah history. He would like nothing better to go out with a gold trophy. Since the Dons have played in the final day the past five years, remaining unbeatens Mountain Crest, Bountiful and Skyline and a host of one-loss teams have to be wary of them. The tournament is scheduled to end Friday at UVU.
In Class 5A baseball, league champions Layton and Jordan join Copper Hills and surprising Lone Peak in the winners’ bracket games scheduled Tuesday at Kearns with some strong teams remaining in the one-loss column of the double-elimination tournament. The tournament moves to UVU for games Thursday and Friday if the weather holds.
Apparently the fine softball facilities in Spanish Fork are helping some develop some great girls’ teams in southern Utah Valley. Region 8 rivals Spanish Fork, Maple Mountain and Salem Hills, all located within a few miles of one another, find themselves in the unbeaten ranks along with surprising Bonneville as the tournament shifts to the Valley Softball Complex at 5135 S. 2700 West in Taylorsville. With some good teams including Region 7 champion Murray and Region 6 winner Clearfield in the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament, there should be plenty of drama.
In 5A softball, the brackets have been more predictable with Region 4 champion Riverton, Region 1 winner Layton, and Region 3 champ Bingham remaining in the unbeaten bracket. The only surprise there is Lehi, the third place team in Region 4. Games in the double-elimination tournament are scheduled Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Weather could play a factor in getting softball and baseball completed on time with potential storms in the forecast Tuesday and Wednesday.
Meanwhile, 26 spring championships have been decided, including 10 track titles that were awarded Saturday at the well-run state meet at BYU, where Box Elder earned a half-point win over Maple Mountain to capture the 4A girls’ track title and a number of individuals turned in record-breaking performances.
Thus, with over 80,000 students participating in Utah High School Activities Association events in the past year, six championships remain to be decided before the 2013-14 athletic season can be recorded in the record books.
Schedule for prep championships this week
5A semifinals at Woods Cross
4:15 p.m. » Riverton vs. Viewmont
6:30 p.m. » Fremont vs. Layton
» Winners play for championship Thursday at 7 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium
4A semifinals at Woods Cross
11:30 a.m. » Logan vs. Maple Mountain
1:45 p.m. » Box Elder vs. Skyline
» Winners play for championship Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at Rio Tinto Stadium
At Kearns High
11 a.m. » Fremont vs. Pleasant Grove
1:30 p.m. » Taylorsville at Riverton
4:30 p.m. » Bingham vs. Brighton
7 p.m. » Viewmont vs. American Fork
4:30 p.m. » Copper Hills vs. Layton
7 p.m. » Lone Peak vs. Jordan
11 a.m. » Maple Mountain vs. Woods Cross
1:30 p.m. » Salem Hills vs. Wasatch
4:30 p.m. » Mtn. View vs. Box Elder
7 p.m. » Murray vs. Logan
4:30 » Spanish Fork vs. Mountain Crest
7 p.m. » Bountiful vs. Skyline
All games at Valley Softball Complex, Taylorsville
Noon » Herriman vs. Syracuse
Noon » Taylorsville vs. Hunter
2:15 p.m. » Alta vs. Fremont
2:15 p.m. » Copper Hills vs. Viewmont
4:30 p.m. » Riverton vs. Layton
6:45 p.m. » Lehi vs. Bingham
Noon » Bountiful vs. Woods Cross
Noon » Clearfield vs. Box Elder
2:15 p.m. » East vs. Springville
2:15 p.m. » Olympus vs. Murray
4:30 p.m. » Spanish Fork vs. Maple Mountain
6:45 p.m. » Bonneville vs. Salem Hills
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