The 2019 high school football season will officially get underway in Tooele County on Friday night, with all three of the area’s teams in action against stiff competition.
Stansbury will open its season at home against Sky View, one of the top teams in Class 4A in 2018. Grantsville will travel to Mount Pleasant to face last year’s Class 3A runner-up, North Sanpete. Tooele will meet up with Green Canyon, an up-and-coming squad that reached the postseason last year in just its second year of existence.
Here’s a closer look at each of Friday’s matchups, with 2018 records.
Sky View Bobcats
(10-1, 5-0 Region 12) at Stansbury Stallions
(7-4, 4-1 Region 11)
Where: Stallion Stadium, Stansbury High School
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last meeting: At Sky View 35, Stansbury 17 (Aug. 17, 2018)
The scoop: The Bobcats and Stallions are both in the unique position of having new head coaches a season after winning their respective region championships. Friday night will be the first game for new Sky View coach Chris Howell, who made the move from Ridgeline, as well as Stansbury coach Eric Alder, who was previously at Ben Lomond.
The Bobcats were one of the favorites to compete for the Class 4A championship last year, but their run was derailed by Region 11 co-champion Park City in the state quarterfinals. They have six returning offensive starters from that team, as well as seven returning starters from a defense that ranked third in Class 4A in points allowed. On the other side, the Stallions are switching to a spread offense after having run the triple option for the past decade, though they have the athletes to make the transition successful. They are also switching to a 3-4 alignment on defense with six returning starters, and are looking to improve after ranking 13th in points allowed last year.
Sky View has beaten the Stallions in each of the past two season openers, including a 27-17 win in 2017.
(3-8, 2-3 Region 11) at
Green Canyon Wolves
(4-7, 2-3 Region 12)
Where: Green Canyon High School, North Logan
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last meeting: Teams have never met
The scoop: Green Canyon is looking to take the next step in its development, while Tooele will be playing its first game under new coach Andru Jones. In short, these two teams are both eager to show that there are better days ahead after both took their lumps in 2018.
Green Canyon opened in 2017, and should benefit from a strong senior class entering its third season together at GCHS. The Wolves have six returning starters on both sides of the ball and are picked to finish right in the middle of the pack in Region 11 this year. Meanwhile, Tooele is switching from the wing-T to a more varied attack on offense, but returns four starters that should help make the transition easier. The Buffaloes’ 4-3 defensive scheme also benefits from four returning starters, as well as a bevy of up-and-coming talent eager to make its mark.
(8-2, 4-1 Class 3A North) at North Sanpete Hawks
(7-5, 3-2 Class 3A South)
Where: North Sanpete High School, Mount Pleasant
When: Friday, 7 p.m.
Last meeting: At Grantsville 14, North Sanpete 0 (Aug. 17, 2018)
The scoop: Two of Class 3A’s top teams from a year ago meet in a rematch of last year’s season opener. Grantsville went on to finish second in Class 3A’s northern region last year, but ended up losing to Juan Diego in the state quarterfinals. North Sanpete had an up-and-down regular season, but toppled Union and Morgan in the state playoffs before falling to Summit Academy in the state championship game.
Both teams have similarly high hopes coming into the 2019 season. North Sanpete has eight returning starters on offense and five on defense after allowing the second-fewest points per game in 3A in 2018. Grantsville also returns eight offensive starters from 3A’s third-highest scoring offense, as well as seven defensive starters from 3A’s sixth-stingiest defense.
The Cowboys have historically dominated this series, winning 11 of 12 meetings dating back to 1987. The Hawks’ lone victory in that stretch came in 1990, when the schools competed in the same region in Class 2A.