The high school football season is a mere two weeks old, but things are already starting to sort themselves out before region games even start.
For one, those of us in Tooele County realize that Sky View is good. Like, really, really good. The Bobcats have beaten Stansbury and Tooele handily in back-to-back games. That shows that even if, as expected, the Stallions and Buffaloes finish at or near the top of Region 11, they’ll have some work to do once they get to the postseason to match up with the best the Cache Valley has to offer.
Another thing we know? Grantsville has a chance to do something truly special this season. It makes you wish that Juan Diego was on the Cowboys’ regular-season schedule, just to see how they match up with the Soaring Eagle. They ran roughshod over Summit Academy, Juan Diego’s primary competition for the Class 3A South title. And judging from the other results through the first couple weeks of the season, the Class 3A North race could be wide open. After all, Morgan did lose to Class 2A powerhouse South Summit last week, and Judge Memorial got blown out by Juan Diego.
Meanwhile, Grantsville’s running attack, led by Parker Thomas, and its defense, led by Isaac Riding and Drake Hall, are ruling the day through the first two games. If that keeps up, it’s not hard to imagine seeing the Cowboys on the field at Weber State’s Stewart Stadium come championship weekend in November.
There are a couple things we don’t know yet – namely, how good are Stansbury and Tooele? Tooele made far too many mistakes early in the game against Sky View and paid the price for it, and didn’t get on the scoreboard until after the result had been decided. The Buffaloes’ first game wasn’t really a game at all – it was barely more than a quarter – and it was against an opponent in Uintah that was thoroughly outclassed from the word “go.”
We know a little more about Stansbury, if only because the Stallions have played two full games. Against Sky View, they weren’t at their best, and, again, the Bobcats took advantage of their mistakes. Against Hurricane, they came up against an inferior opponent and turned the game into a glorified practice before the end of the second quarter. I guess what we know is that the Stallions likely aren’t as bad as Sky View made them look, but they probably aren’t as good as they looked against a rebuilding Hurricane program.
Perhaps this week will teach us a little more. Can Stansbury stick to its roots against Class 6A Taylorsville and its star quarterback, Dane Leituala? Will Tooele avoid the same mistakes that plagued it a week ago when it takes to the field on the road against another powerhouse, Dixie? Can Grantsville continue to build on what it’s shown the first two weeks when it plays its first road game in Manti?
With the preseason already half over and the region season looming just two weeks away, the answers to those questions could set the tone for the next couple months.
Darren Vaughan is a veteran sports writer from Moab, Utah. Following the Stansbury football team up and down the sideline last week while keeping stats helped him “get his steps in.” Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.