TWIR9: PV’s Wilstead will play and DH’s Beck is back in Region 9 sports

COMMENTARY — Even though basketball and the other winter sports are just getting started, there is plenty of news around Region 9 in several sports.

We’ll get to the news in a moment, but first let me congratulate one least time the Dixie Flyers for their 3AA state championship in football. Dixie was picked third by the media and fourth by the coaches in the preseason polls. The Flyers then opened the season 2-4, including a 20-point loss to Hurricane and a 34-point loss to 5A Riverton.

Dixie Flyer Head Coach Blaine Monkres congratulates a player after a touchdown, Dixie vs. Hurricane, 2014 3AA Football State Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News
Dixie Flyer Head Coach Blaine Monkres congratulates a player after a touchdown, Dixie vs. Hurricane, 2014 3AA Football State Championship, Salt Lake City, Utah, Nov. 21, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

But credit the Dixie coaching staff, led by wily veteran Blaine Monkres. The Flyers kept their chins up and kept battling, rebounding from the big loss to the Tigers to hand Desert Hills its first loss of the season. That was the beginning of something beautiful for Dixie, which used that jumping off point to reel off eight-straight wins to close out the season, including the 27-19 win over Hurricane in the title game.

As much as we love to talk about stats, in the end the only one that matters is the final score. Dixie was out-gained in both the semifinals and the championship. In fact, Desert Hills had the best defense in the state and Pine View had the best offense — on paper.

But it is Dixie that brought home the gold trophy. Congrats Flyers!

Now, on to some important news around the region.

Boys basketball

Pine View got some bad news a week ago when it was ruled that a player (who played significant minutes for the Panthers last year) was allowed to transfer to Dixie and play immediately for the Flyers. There is lots of finger-pointing and bad feelings surrounding this case, but with only hearsay on both sides, I will refrain from offering any opinion here. The UHSAA did hold a hearing on the matter and as far as that goes, the case is closed.

Pine Views Kody Wilstead gets fouled by Paysons Jordan Humphreys  during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City,  Utah, Feb. 27, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie,  St. George News
Pine Views Kody Wilstead gets fouled by Payson’s Jordan Humphreys during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 27, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

However, Pine View got some good news yesterday when it was confirmed that Kody Wilstead will play basketball this season. The original plan for the 6-foot-6 Wilstead, who has committed to play football for BYU, was graduate early from PVHS and to leave on an LDS Mission in January. The thought was to have him back in time to play spring football for the Cougars in 2017.

But plans change and Wilstead now plans to leave on his mission to Argentina in April, meaning the Panthers just got a big boost for their hoops squad. Region 9 fans know there’s not a lot of size around the region and Wilstead is a legitimate threat in the post. Last season, he averaged 14.3 points, 12.9 rebounds and more than four blocked shots per game. Pine View also returns dynamic guard Chaz Peterson and swing man Jed Newby, among others.

And speaking of boys basketball, the Region 9 Media Day, brought to you by Cherry Creek Radio, is next Monday (Dec. 8) beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event will be broadcast on SportsRadio 106.1 FM and on CEC-TV with each team granted about 20 minutes of air time to talk about the 2014-2015 season. The order of appearance is: Cedar, Pine View, Canyon View, Hurricane, Desert Hills, Dixie and Snow Canyon. The final segment of the show will feature a wrap-up by the ESPN radio team and poll results from both the coaches and the media.

Girls basketball

Desert Hills is the defending 3A champion and the Lady Thunder will be pretty good this year, even with a new coach and the graduation of seven seniors, including all-staters Haley Bodnar and Blair Bliss. But the first couple of weeks, DH may be a little more vulnerable as the Thunder will be without star sophomore Ashley Beckstrand.

Thunder guard Ashley Beckstrand stares down Cedars Courtney Morley during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News
Thunder guard Ashley Beckstrand stares down Cedar’s Courtney Morley during the 3A State Playoffs, Cedar City, Utah, Feb. 28, 2014 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, St. George News

Beckstrand, who averaged eight points a game and often ran the point for the state champs, doubled over in pain and was rushed to the emergency room after the Thunder’s opening win over Enterprise. The trip to the ER led directly to a trip to the OR — the operating room — where Beckstrand had surgery to remove a large cyst.

As scary as it was, things have turned out well for Beckstrand and she is recovering. The early prognosis is that she’ll be out a couple of weeks and should be fine when the Thunder and new coach Gary Tomlinson begin their run for a repeat. Along with non-league games, D-Hills does have two region games in December, playing at Cedar Dec. 9 and hosting Dixie Dec. 16.

Beckstrand scored 24 points and had 7 assists for DH in the 79-40 win over Enterprise that fateful night.

Tomlinson is not the only new coach in the region as Chris Brinagh begins his first head coaching stint at Pine View. Brinagh, a former star wide receiver at Dixie State and Idaho State, has been an assistant at Dixie and Pine View in both football and basketball.

He’s got his work cut out for him, inheriting a tough schedule and a team that went 0-20 a year ago. But things are already looking up. The Lady Panthers opened the season with a 51-48 comeback win at Richfield.

Baseball

You can’t keep a good man down, and less than five months after resigning as coach of the Desert Hills baseball team, Coach Jerry Beck is back.

Coach Beck with 2014 seniors Blake Betts, left and Dylan File, right | Photo courtesy Jerry Beck
Coach Jerry Beck 

Scott Brosier took over for Beck in July, but stepped down yesterday and the DH almost immediately tabbed Beck as the new/old coach.

“I am sad for Coach Brosier and appreciate everything that he did in keeping things going,” Beck said, through social media. “At the same time I am extremely excited to be back. The break did me some good and helped give me a better perspective on a lot of things. Hopefully my coaching will reflect that for the better.”

The Thunder have been in the state championship the past two seasons, losing heartbreaking games to Grantsville in 2014 and Snow Canyon in 2013.

This week’s Region 9 schedule:

12/2 – Tuesday

BOYS BASKETBALL
Centennial, Nev. at Desert Hills, 7 p.m.
Enterprise at Snow Canyon, 7 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Centennial, Ariz. at Desert Hills, 5:30 p.m.
Beaver at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Enterprise at Cedar, 7 p.m.
Richfield at Canyon View, 7 p.m.

12/3 – Wednesday

BOYS BASKETBALL
Pine View at Enterprise, 7 p.m.
Richfield at Cedar, 7 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Pine View at Bryce Valley, 7 p.m.

12/4 – Thursday

BOYS BASKETBALL
Dixie at Richfield, 7 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Canyon View at Beaver, 7 p.m.
Delta at Hurricane, 7 p.m.
Desert Hills Tourney
Desert Hills vs. Westlake, 8 p.m. (at Desert Hills High School)
Granger vs. Snow Canyon, 8 p.m. – (at Snow Canyon High School)
Salem Hills vs. Pleasant Grove, 8 p.m. (at Desert Hills High School)
Page Tourney
Dixie vs. TBD, tbd (at Page, Ariz.)

12/5 – Friday

BOYS BASKETBALL
Canyon View at Juab, 7 p.m.
2A-3A PREVIEW (all games at Sevier Valley Center, Richfield)
Manti vs. Parowan, 10 a.m.
Cedar vs. Payson, 11:30 a.m.
Desert Hills vs. Grantsville, 1 p.m.
Morgan vs. Hurricane, 2:30 p.m.
Pine View vs. Emery, 4 p.m.
South Sevier vs. Dixie, 5:30 p.m.
North Sevier vs. Enterprise, 7 p.m.
Merit Academy vs. Richfield, 8:30 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Cedar at Springville, 7 p.m.
CARBON TOURNAMENT (at Carbon High Schoool)
Emery vs. Manti, 6:15 p.m.
Pine View vs. Carbon, 7:45 p.m.
DESERT HILLS TOURNAMENT
Snow Canyon vs. Westlake, 4:30 p.m. (at Desert Hills High School)
Salem Hills vs. Granger, 6 p.m. (at Desert Hills High School)
Desert Hills vs. Pleasant Grove, 7:30 p.m. (at Desert Hills High School)
PAGE TOURNAMENT
Dixie vs. TBD, tbd (at Page, Ariz.)

12/6 – Saturday

BOYS BASKETBALL
Canyon View at Spanish Fork, 6 p.m.
2A-3A PREVIEW (at Sevier Valley Center)
Morgan vs. Cedar, 9 a.m.
Manti vs. Enterprise, 10:30 a.m.
Payson vs. Pine View, noon
Hurricane vs. Emery, 1:30 p.m.
Dixie vs. Grantsville, 3 p.m.
Desert Hills vs. Richfield, 4:30 p.m.
South Sevier vs. Merit Academy, 6 p.m.
North Sevier vs. Parowan, 7:30 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL
Cedar at Timpview, 3:15 p.m.
CARBON TOURNAMENT
Pine View vs. Emery, 1 p.m.
Manti vs. Carbon, 2:30 p.m.
DESERT HILLS TOURNAMENT (at DHHS)
Salem Hills vs. Westlake, 9:30 a.m.
Snow Canyon vs. Pleasant Grove, 12:30 p.m.
Desert Hills vs. Granger, 2 p.m.
PAGE TOURNAMENT
Dixie vs. TBD, tbd (at Page, Ariz.)

“This Week in Region 9″ is a weekly column written by Andy Griffin exploring the happenings in Region 9 at all sports venues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. George News.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • John December 3, 2014 at 8:46 am

    There’s people in Argentina that need Kody in January. More than the court needs him. Bad choice

  • Jeff Parker December 4, 2014 at 8:10 am

    Kids need to complete 4 years of high school. The bad choice was to leave high school early for athletics.

  • GRAPEJUSE December 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Do you cover wrestling at all?

  • Vaasa December 5, 2014 at 9:12 am

    John, leaving school early to go on a mission and not walk with classmates will always be a poor choice in my opinion. You will never experience HS but once and you can’t go back to do that. Kody has made the right choice and should stay the remainder of the year.

  • John December 5, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    I guess it depends on your lds mission stance. If you were a member you would understand

    • Jeff Parker December 8, 2014 at 10:47 am

      You have to be a member? Really? Members are more for leaving high school early to go on a mission?

      Tell me what your mission stance is so I can see some perspective, please.

  • MommaJ December 6, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    Did you forget another new coach? Ariza at Dixie.

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