Snow Canyon youth football team caps off six seasons of perfection

The Snow Canyon Warriors won their sixth straight Southern Utah Nevada Youth Football League championship Saturday, finishing that stretch with a perfect 51-0 record, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2018 | Photo by Mary Steinke, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — If there’s one thing for certain about the Snow Canyon eighth-grade football team, it’s that they know how to win.

Action from Snow Canyon’s victory over Dixie in the Southern Utah Nevada Youth Football League championship game, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2018 | Photo by David Larson, St. George News

The Warriors took the field Saturday hoping to accomplish something that had never been done in the history of the Southern Utah Nevada Youth Football League: win the championship every year from third grade through eighth grade.

Up just 14-12 at the half against Dixie, there may have been doubt that this group’s run of unprecedented success would continue.

Head coach Matt Hickman wasn’t too worried, though, because this team knows how to win football games.

The second half came and it was all Snow Canyon from there. They outscored the Flyers 26-0 in the half to win 40-12, putting the final touches on another perfect championship campaign.

“The best part about the team is that they don’t care who the star is,” Hickman said. “They are all about the ‘we’ after the ‘I.’ They’re so good together, and they’re a band of brothers.”

Action from Snow Canyon’s victory over Dixie in the Southern Utah Nevada Youth Football League championship game, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2018 | Photo by David Larson, St. George News

One of the keys to the Warriors winning ways is their depth. They have two full teams, an A and B team, and even the B team reached the championship game this weekend.

The players have been together since the third grade, which is the first year tackle football is played in the youth league. Hickman has been there the entire time, too, leading this group to success that has never been seen in Southern Utah youth football.

The team won six straight league titles, winning all 51 games while scoring 1,839 points over the six-year span. Perhaps most impressive, they’ve only allowed 137, becoming a well-rounded team that lights up the scoreboard, but also shuts down the opposing team’s best weapons.

“It’s mind boggling,” said Darry Alton, the youth league’s president. “I’m not even sure if it’s ever happened in Utah. They hit you with everything they’ve got every game. They’ve got great coaching, talent and a desire to win.”

Hickman said he believes the team turned the corner in the fourth grade, when it was playing in a tournament against teams from Salt Lake City.

Action from Snow Canyon’s victory over Dixie in the Southern Utah Nevada Youth Football League championship game, St. George, Utah, Nov. 3, 2018 | Photo by David Larson, St. George News

“They were playing hard, but just getting beat up. They were crying, one kid had a bloody nose, and I told them no matter what, you fight hard, no one has fought harder than you guys that I’ve ever seen.”

Since then, the domination has continued.

“These boys are like machines,” Alton said. “They don’t back down, they don’t even dare to.”

Now, as the boys move on to freshman football, junior varsity and eventually varsity, one has to wonder whether this group will continue to develop and possibly turn around a Snow Canyon High School team that has struggled. The last time the Warriors won a state playoff game was 2015, with their last state championship coming in 1999.

Asked if he believes the success the boys have had at the youth level can be carried over to high school football, Hickman said he thinks it can.

“They’ll be ready. There is a good pipeline now of kids. We’ve been running the high school offense for the last three years. I definitely think the success can carry over (to high school).”

Alton added, “If they can carry that success over and learn how to keep playing in high school how they have been for years, they’re going to be good, it’s gonna be hell for everyone else.”

Only time will tell how these players acclimate to the high school level, but ones thing’s for sure, this team knows how to win.

Also at Pine View on Saturday, Snow Canyon’s 7th-grade A team defeated Cedar 27-0 to win its league title, while Canyon View won the 7th grade B championship by defeating Cedar 21-19.

Written by SPENCER RODAK.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • stevenxfiles November 6, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    We don’t allow young people to smoke, drive drunk or do other stupid things that we know will cause them permanent harm. Why is it we still allow this sport which we know causes brain damage? I don’t understand why parents think this is worth it to allow their kids to play contact football in this day and age. Please parents – think of your kids future. Find another sport!

    “The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found CTE in 99 percent of brains obtained from National Football League (NFL) players, as well at 91 percent of college football players and 21 percent of high school football players.”

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