COMMENTARY – Welcome to the STGnews weekly Monday Rundown, where we’ll take a glance at what happened over the weekend in high school sports and what it means for the teams you love. If you have ideas or suggestions for the Monday Rundown, please comment below or email to email@example.com.
The Hurricane Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the state in 3A, but they’ve already whipped teams from both higher classifications. Hurricane beat 4A Skyline in Week 1 and Friday night the Tigers trounced 5A West Jordan 28-14. So what’s next for the red and black? They get to conquer Las Vegas, with the Legacy Longhorns coming to town.
It’s hard to get a gauge on Dixie just yet. The Flyers beat a decent Springville team, then totally out-classed River Valley, Ariz. Two things I noticed though: 1. Blake Barney is faster and more athletic than last year; 2. Jesse Lambert is a beast on the defensive line after being a linebacker the last two years. Dixie is at Provo this Friday.
Is that a major identity change that I hear over at Pine View. The Panthers looked like the same spread team they’ve been for more than a decade with coach Ray Hosner in Week 1. But with Kody Wilstead out with a broken leg, Pine View switched to the I-formation (they had been working on it anyway) and ran the heck out of the ball. So is that it for the spread at Pine View? Nobody’s saying, but given the current personnel, the “I” may be around for awhile. Pine View plays at home vs. Uintah Friday.
Snow Canyon got a much-needed win and did break the game open in the second half against Shadow Ridge, Nev. The Warriors also ran the ball well, with Mitchell Phillips and Mason Smith both topping 100 yards. Given this trend, maybe Dixie will be the only team in Region 9 that throws the ball more than it runs. The Warriors are at Park City Friday.
It was weird to have Desert Hills on a bye this early. Hopefully we will learn more about them Friday as the Thunder play their first home game Friday vs. West.
Cedar is 0-2 and plays at Skyline Friday. The Eagles are going to be hungry after being outscored by Hurricane and Syracuse a combined 50-7. Will Cedar be 0-3 entering region play? Canyon View is 1-1 after beating Richfield 23-13. The Falcons are home for North Sanpete Friday night.
Region 9 play has just begun, but it looks like it will be an extremely competitive year. Dixie and Snow Canyon are both 5-0 and Cedar, which went to the state finals last year, is 5-1. Amazingly, Dixie has yet to be scored on in five matches. Coach Burt Myers also had the boys team, which won state last season, playing amazing defense. They practically shut out the whole region. So what is Myers doing and can he keep it up? We’ll know more after this week as the Lady Flyers play Desert Hills Tuesday and then at Cedar Thursday afternoon. Don’t expect a lot of scoring as Cedar has only given up three goals in six matches.
Region play begins this Thursday with Snow Canyon, as usual, the region favorite. Another Parker, SC coach Alaina’s daughter Alexsa, joins the fray as just a freshman. Better known as “Crash,” Alexsa will join a group of seven seniors for the Lady Warriors.
Dixie and Hurricane are also favorites to get into the playoffs, though it’s anyone’s guess as to who will step up and challenge Snow Canyon for supremacy.
Andrew Shopinski shot an impressive 68 in wet conditions last Thursday to win the tournament at Bloomington Country Club. Shopinski has a “playoff beard,” like in hockey. He said he’s not shaving until his Panthers lose. The way he and his teammates are playing right now, that beard may take on a life of its own. Pine View is 3-0 so far. Shopinski, better known as “Bassmaster” to his coaches and teammates for his love of fishing, is a muni-baby, having cut his golf teeth on public courses. He has never taken private golf lessons and credits much of his success to the Junior Achievement Golf program (or JAG) in southern Utah.
Pine View’s Michael Finch was third overall at the Highland Invitational Friday up in the Salt Lake Valley. The meet included dozens of teams from all classifications. Finch finished behind Ben Saarel of Park City and Jordon Cross of Ogden. Saarel, who is the defending 3A state champ, won with a 3-mile time of 14:49.1, but both Cross (14:56.3) and Finch (14:59.8) also finished with impressive times under 15 minutes.
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