Just when it finally got cool enough outside that you don’t have to run the air conditioning at night, the high school sports season is heating up.
We got a little taste a couple weeks ago when the Grantsville volleyball team played Stansbury and Tooele within 48 hours of each other, with both matches featuring quite a bit more intensity than your average late-August contest. But now that Labor Day is behind us, we’re about to see our county rivalries renewed many times over in the days to come.
On Thursday, Stansbury’s girls soccer team plays host to Tooele at the same time the two schools’ respective girls tennis teams will do battle on the SHS campus. Friday brings us the gridiron showdown between Tooele and Grantsville. Next week, Tooele and Stansbury meet on the volleyball court, Grantsville’s girls tennis team travels to Tooele on Thursday and Stansbury will meet THS on the football field Friday night to kick off the Region 11 football season.
There’s something to be said for rivalries. Even though Grantsville isn’t in the same region or classification as Tooele and Stansbury anymore, it sure hasn’t seemed to lessen the intensity any. Now, Grantsville has the whole underdog thing going for it – a small Class 3A school going up against its larger Class 4A neighbors. The Cowboys sure seemed to thrive in that position last year, and a win over Tooele in this Friday’s football game would complete a perfect preseason.
Tooele likely has other plans. The Buffs see red in more ways than one when they face Grantsville. And when it’s Stansbury on the other side? Let’s just say that while they may be friends outside the lines, the rivalry is white-hot between the whistles. Tooele doesn’t just want to beat Grantsville this week. The Buffaloes would love nothing more than to put a major dent in Stansbury’s Region 11 title hopes by winning next week, as well.
Meanwhile, Stansbury has a region football title to defend that night. The Stallions don’t want to lose a volleyball match on their home court to their most hated rival, and there’s no love lost between them and the Buffs on the soccer field. And, the best thing? For the most part, they’ll shake hands and share a few smiles and laughs with their rivals when it’s all said and done, with the winners getting local bragging rights.
There is the slightest hint of fall in the air these days in Tooele County. There will be more than a slight hint of intensity over the next couple weeks on the local high school sports scene.
Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. He’s looking forward to seeing things get ramped up the next few weeks as the games become more important. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.