In recent years, it has become progressively more difficult to decide which of the Tooele Valley’s three high schools in most deserving of the Transcript Cup, awarded each year by the Transcript Bulletin sports staff to the area’s best sports school.
It used to be easy, when Tooele, Stansbury and Grantsville all competed in the same region, and therefore played each other in every sport. But, thanks to realignment and surging enrollment numbers at THS and SHS, that hasn’t been the case lately. (Hopefully, when Deseret Peak High School opens in a few years, a Tooele County league can be formed where a four-team battle royale takes place in every sport, making this a much easier decision.)
It also isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. There’s no doubt the competition is tougher in Class 4A than it is in Class 3A from top to bottom. However, the easiest way to do this is to place each school within the context of its own classification — how do they compare to other schools their own size?
Simply put, Grantsville is one of the premier sports schools in Class 3A — right up there with Juab, Manti and Morgan among the classification’s royalty. The Cowboys won state championships in baseball and softball this spring; finished third in boys and girls basketball, girls wrestling and girls tennis; had individual state champions in girls track, girls wrestling, girls tennis and girls and boys swimming; reached the semifinals in football; and made it to the quarterfinals in girls soccer.
By that measure, it’s hard to deny that Grantsville High has put together an impressive body of work worthy of receiving the Transcript Cup for the 2020-21 school year. Last year, the Cup made its way back to Stansbury for the ninth time in 11 years, breaking the Cowboys’ two-year winning streak — but now, it’s back on Cherry Street for the third time in four years.
That’s not to say Stansbury didn’t have an extremely strong case. The Stallions reached the semifinals in football and advanced to the state championship game in boys soccer, in addition to having the area’s best wrestling squad and earning a state title in the boys’ 4×100-meter relay at the state track meet.
Tooele also had its fair share of bright spots, with an individual state title in the pool and a trip to the decisive third game of the Class 4A state softball tournament. The Buffs also made history with their third-place finish at the state girls wrestling tournament, bringing home two individual state titles.
However, there can only be one winner, and in 2021, the Transcript Cup is going to Grantsville.
Enjoy it, Cowboys. You’ve earned it.