Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

May 17, 2023
In 1998, three Tooele County schools win state titles in spring sports

The Tooele Transcript Bulletin has published Tooele County news since 1894. Here is a flashback of local front-page news from 25, 50, 75 and 100 years ago that occurred during the third week of May. 

May 19-21, 1998

Tooele County sports team dominated the state sports scene during the weekend bringing home state gold. Sports programs from three different county schools garnered state gold trophies with spectacular team play.

Tooele High reclaimed softball state supremacy in 3A with a thrilling sweep of Snow Canyon. Meanwhile, Grantsville captured its first ever state softball crown in 2A winning three-straight games on Saturday, and Dugway dominated the 1A boys track to seize the school’s third state cinder championship in the past three campaigns.

Tooele softball coach Linda Matekel Kimball said she always wanted to win a state title with her father, the late Shiek Matekal, as a player but fell short. The second-year head coach noted she felt her father’s presence en route to the title.

Later in the week, Stansbury Park residents continued to consider the possibility of incorporation. The community had grown to 800 homes and 3,600 people with only four businesses. 

Residents listened to Eagle Mountain Mayor Debbie Hogue. “You can do this,” she said. 

Stansbury Park residents were not convinced they wanted to, though.

May 15-18, 1973

Residents of Ophir were receiving water by tanker truck as flood waters from Ophir Creek continued to plague the town’s culinary water system.

Elsewhere in Tooele county, streamflow in many canyons was much above normal, but officials did not foresee any serious problems. Streams were flowing out of some canyons which were normally dry the year round. On May 1, measurement by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service indicated that the moisture content of snowpack throughout the area was much above normal.

Later in the week, University of Utah football coach Bill Meek announced that quarterback Don Van Gelder and defensive tackle Ron Rydalch of Tooele had been named team captains for the 1973 football season. The two seniors were selected by vote of their teammates. Meek was happy with the choices. 

“I’m extremely pleased to have two young men like these as representatives of our team. They are very deserving and are two of the most outstanding young men on our squad. Both players are excellent students and are very capable leaders on the field and off,” the coach said.

May 18-21, 1948

The home of County Commissioner Merlin Johnson at Clover was totally destroyed by fire early Monday afternoon.

The loss was total and the cause of the fire was unknown, although it was believed that the high wind blew a tree over and caused a short in the electric line feeding the home.

The Tooele County Sheriff’s force responded with the county fire truck and two brush trucks from the Western Chemical Center, as well as neighbors from Clover and St. John who formed a bucket brigade.

Later in the week, a full scale recreation program in the summer for Tooele youth was being planned. The program would be carried out for the purpose of supplying worthy use of leisure time for the youngsters in the city and county. 

Plans included softball and baseball leagues. Each Wednesday would be beach day with a bus ready to transport the kids to Black Rock Beach for a day of swimming. During July, a basketball league would be in action at the high school gymnasium.

May 18, 1923

After untiring efforts for over a year, the Daughters of the Pioneers had reached the amount of $1,200 in contributions from over 700 people of Tooele, Lake View, Stockton and St. John for the erection of a Soldiers Memorial Monument in the Tooele Cemetery.

The monument would be 800 feet in height and would be erected in the center of the space used by the Memorial trees dedicated the previous year. The monument would be erected by Memorial Day and dedicated and unveiled under the auspices of the American Legion. The names of soldiers who gave their lives in the world war would be inscribed on the stone.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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