COMMENTARY – One of my good friends is Deseret News prep sports editor James Edward. He and I have been tooling around the prep scenes for more years than we care to admit and we have helped each other out on many occasions.
But James does like to push my buttons sometimes. For instance, earlier this week he published his preseason football rankings for high school football. It’s July, for crying out loud.
James knows football fans like me are suffering through a long summer. We surf our satellite dishes for old football re-broadcasts. We fondle printed box scores from last year’s playoffs. We look up rosters online and make predictions in our heads.
But mostly, we count down the days until football starts again.
Knowing how much we suffer, why does James have to pour salt in our wounds? Why does he have to publish two rankings stories in one week when the boys haven’t even started two-a-days? Why, oh why, does he remind us of the upcoming year when there is still more than a month before any real hitting takes place?
Then again, maybe I am looking at this all wrong. Maybe James is just trying to throw us a bone. You know, give us a few delectable bites to tide us over for a bit longer, with the main course still so far out of reach.
Perhaps he’s like the mom who gives her kids some peanuts or a cookie at 4 p.m., knowing dinner is still two hours away.
Well, whatever the case, the fact remains that some of the rankings are out there and fans in southern Utah can start thinking about the upcoming football season optimistically.
According to the Deseret News’s survey of the state’s coaches, Dixie is the team to beat in the new 3AA classification, which consists of just 14 teams in two regions.
Desert Hills and Hurricane also made the preseason top five for the 3AA, which no longer includes Canyon View (3A), Spanish Fork (4A) and Wasatch (4A).
There will be plenty of time to talk about it as the season gets a little closer, but it’s worth mentioning that the former Region 9 is now the 3AA South Region, with Cedar, Desert Hills, Dixie, Hurricane, Pine View and Snow Canyon, plus newcomer Payson.
The 3AA North Region is Bear River, Ben Lomond, Juan Diego, Park City, Stansbury, Tooele and Uintah.
The bigger (and better) teams from 3A are the new 3AA, while teams that have struggled to compete in football (like Canyon View, Juab and Carbon) remain in the 12-team 3A.
There will be plenty to debate, including whether or not 3A should have ever been divided at all as we approach the season. But let’s hold off for a bit. We still have 37 days before the first games of the season.
Not that I’m counting.
Andy Griffin is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
Email: [email protected]
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.