Despite the time spectrum speeding up daily, Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year where we try to slow things down a bit to give thanks and show appreciation for life’s blessings. It’s been a great year for Tooele County sports teams as well as others. Here are a few things I am particularly thankful for.
Tooele High School’s breakout season. Going 7-4 and 4-2 in the 3AA North Region was a real triumph and blessing for the seniors and head coach Kyle Brady. They didn’t have a varsity win four years ago, but Coach Brady never lost faith and set the example for his players, showing great patience and perseverance. It paid off with a trip to the state playoffs and a winning season. They were fun to watch and we were all proud of their performance. It was a good year to be a Buffalo.
Stansbury High School ran roughshod over the 3AA North Region and ended the season with a 9-2 record. They averaged more than 43 points a game and made it to the 3AA quarter finals before being upset by Dixie 49-42. The Stallions played hard and gave their fans a ride to remember.
Grantsville High School was decimated by injuries and struggled though a 3-8 season. Still, their efforts got them to the state playoffs, but ended quickly with a 17-44 defeat at the hands of Juab, a team that ended up playing in the state 3A final in Cedar City. Losing a football game is difficult, but suffering through a losing season is demoralizing. Still, despite the Cowboys’ troubles, they came into each game ready for a battle and gave it their all. I admired the Cowboys’ character and determination despite their adversity. Win, lose or draw, I’m always grateful to be a Cowboy.
I have another Grantsville blessing to be thankful for. Head coach Tony Cloward hung up his cleats as head football coach at the end of the season. For 10 long years he gave everything he had to Cowboy football. He coached two of my four boys at GHS and mentors my youngest son to this very day. Landon is in the sixth grade and often spoke of the day when he will get to be a Cowboy and play for coach Cloward.
Sometimes I think we let the win-loss record block out the positive things a coach does for his players, team and community. Coach Cloward was a good example and mentor to his players. His love and concern for them will be remembered far longer after their football careers are over than their wins or losses. Thank you coach Cloward for a decade of service to our children, school and community. We are grateful for your efforts.
I’m appreciative for college football and the joy it brings to me and my family as we banter and commentate about our favorite or not-so-favorite football teams. To see Utah rising to a competitive level in the Pac-12; to watch BYU grow and recover from injuries and adversity; to see the determination of Utah State as they became bowl eligible despite losing one quarterback after another to injury, including our own native son Craig Harrison, of whom we are extremely proud.
It’s been fun to have a son playing collegiate football and to watch him grow and develop and rise to the challenges being a Division I football player, student and husband entails. It’s amazing to me how sports touch our lives in one form or another so often. I’m grateful for the family bond it brings and the fun it provides.
It was a great year to be a Royals fan. I was born and raised in the Kansas City area and remember the 1985 “I-70” World Series like it was yesterday. Down three games to one, the Royals battled back winning the pivotal sixth game on a controversial “safe” call at first base by umpire Don Denkinger in the bottom of the ninth inning. Later, pinch hitter Dane Lorg hit a base hit blooper to score two runs to win game six. The Royals beat St. Louis 11-0 in game seven for the championship.
Since then 28 seasons have come and gone without the Royals appearing in a post season game — until this year. They were within 90 feet of tying game seven with San Francisco, but Madison Bumgarner, the MVP pitcher for the Giants, was just too much for them. Nevertheless, the Kansas City boys in blue made a statement about teamwork and keeping the faith which we will always remember.
And last but not least, I’m grateful for you. I appreciate the support you give local players, coaches and teams. And thank you for supporting us at the Transcript-Bulletin. Without you our printed words mean nothing. Enjoy every tradition your Thanksgiving brings. I’ll see you from the sidelines.