COMMENTARY — The accolades continue to roll in for Dixie quarterback Blake Barney, who was named as the 3A MVP this weekend.
We had a nice article last week on the All-Region 9 team and the Deseret News recently tallied its 3A All-State votes. The results were very favorable to most of Region 9, with Barney taking the top award and 12 other Region 9 ballers being named to the first team.
A whopping 52 percent of the first-teamers (13 of 25) are from Region 9, even though the southern Utah teams make up roughly 25 percent of the teams that competed in 3A this year (and thus, 25 percent of the votes).
The ballots were voted on by every 3A coach and collected and gathered by James Edward.
Along with Barney, who accounted for 4,000 yards of offense and 46 touchdowns this season, the offensive first-teamers from southern Utah are Desert Hills QB Ty Rutledge (3,321 yards and region co-MVP), Hurricane fullback Jared Edwards (1,158 yards rushing and 22 TDs), Pine View scatback Prentiss Miller (2,150 yards rushing and 18 TDs), Dixie receiver Drew Batchelor (718 receiving yards, 10 TDs) and DH tight end Josh Anderson (500 receiving yards). Also honored on the first-team offense were lineman Logan Stott (PV) and David Teaupa (Dixie). On the defensive side of the ball, the coaches named first-teamers Sean Hafen (Hurricane), Jesse Lambert (Dixie), Wes Moeai (PV), Tyson Graff (Dixie) and Hurricane kicker Ethan Stratton.
Region 9 placed eight players on the all-State second team. They are: Dixie’s Chris Abraham, Taylor Berry and Taylor Strehlow; Hurricane’s Patrick Sanders and Adam Thompson; Snow Canyon’s Mitch Phillips; Pine View’s Austin Gibbs and Desert Hills’ Brock Doman.
Honorable mention players from southern Utah include: Austin Best, Snow Canyon, Cody Boyer, Pine View, Sil Bundy, Desert Hills, Bridger Cowdin, Desert Hills, Jordan Hokanson, Desert Hills, Trevor Horlacher, Snow Canyon, Mike Hourigan, Cedar, Travis LaGrone, Desert Hills, Jake Lindsey, Snow Canyon, Zach Prince, Hurricane and Cameron Williamson, Cedar.
Congratulations guys, you deserve it.
So what did we learn from the opening weekend of boys hoops? Well, we learned that the two teams that played in last year’s state championship game, Hurricane and Desert Hills, may be headed in opposite directions.
The Thunder, who are ranked No. 1 in some publications in Utah, two lost next-level players in Brandon Simister and Tyler Ott. But new head coach Wade Turley (who was once the head FOOTBALL coach at Pine View) has his team reloaded and ready to go behind undersized, but tenacious center Josh Anderson. The Thunder opened the season with two double-digit wins (57-46 over always-tough Moprgan and 53-43 over North Sanpete).
Meanwhile, the Tigers lost stars Colton Marshall and Boston Gubler, two talented big guys, and are finding it harder to find substitutes. Hurricane dropped their opening two games, 56-47 to Stansbury and 66-42 to Morgan. Of course, hurricane traditionally starts slow and gets better as the season progresses.
Cedar looked great in blasting North Sanpete on Friday (75-50), but then laid the proverbial egg Saturday, falling to Spanish Fork 65-54. Cedar also lost last Wednesday to Delta, a team traditionally poor in hoops. So right niow, Cedar is an enigma.
Dixie was also at the 2A/3A Preseason Preview, splitting a pair of games. The Flyers lost to Spanish Fork 62-53, then beat Stansbury in overtime. Dixie and Spanish Fork, of course, played in the football championship a couple of weeks ago.
Back in St. George, many fans are buzzing about the new up-tempo game played by Pine View. The Panthers pressed most of the game vs. Moapa Valley and scored a lot (70-46 was the final).
Sure, sure, it was just Moapa. But coach Darrell larsen said the change is a major step in his program. I was at the game and I think the Panthers might be a contender this year. They have size (Kody Wilstead and Collin Dowdell), a bona fide scorer (Jack Bangerter) and some real scrappers in guys like Dallin Milne, Jed Newby and Cason Prisbrey.
Snow Canyon has yet to play, so it’s wait and see on them (they open Wednesday vs. Enterprise). As for Canyon View, they lost to Richfield, but then scored 79 points in beating Delta.
It should be a very interesting year for hoops in southern Utah. Right, now, it’s anybody’s game.
On the girls side, it should still be Desert Hills and Snow Canyon battling at the top of the region and the state. But Snow Canyon’s team took a big hit when Autumn Shipp blew out her knee in practice. Shipp, a three-sport star who has signed to play softball at the University of Utah, will be sorely missed. But she provides great perspective in her blog about the injury. We could all learn a lot from the mature high school senior.
By the way, a sneaky little thing happened seemingly while no one was looking. The modified (and now approved) proposal for realignment came out late last week and not much will change for non-football sports.
But on the gridiron, the UHSAA elected to grant Canyon View its wish and move the Falcons to a different region, actually a different classification even. CV will be in the smaller 3A class, joining the South Region with Delta, Juab, Manti, North Sanpete and Richfield.
Meanwhile, the rest of Region 9 will play in the larger 3AA class with Payson joining the old Region 9 (renamed 3AA South). More on this in Wednesday’s Old School Andy column here on St. George News.com.
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