Both wins were huge and both wins were for state championships. And perhaps most impressive of all, both wins were major upsets.
The Warriors captured the state title in boys tennis and snagged the club state championship in boys rugby in a couple of stunning results from northern Utah.
Snow Canyon’s boys tennis team, behind gold medalist Will Benson at second singles and three second-place finishes in the other four categories, came away with its first team state championship Saturday at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
The Warriors compiled 20 team points for one champion (six points), three runners-up (12) and one quarterfinal win (2) to edge two-time champion Juan Diego, which compiled 18 points. The Soaring Eagle had gold medalists at first singles in Ryan Kempin, third singles in Ben Argilius, but earned just two points combined in the two doubles slots.
That left the state team title down to a head-to-head meeting at second singles with SC junior Benson and Juan Diego sophomore Connor Kempin. Benson left no doubt, however, dominating the best-of-three match with a 6-1, 6-2 sweep. Benson did not lose a set in his four matches at the state tournament and only dropped a total of seven games in eight sets.
SC got an unexpected boost from sophomore Matt Morgan, a three-seed who got hot in the tourney and made it all the way to the first singles title match with Ryan Kempin before falling 6-3, 6-4.
Michael Russell made it to the third singles semifinals before losing, earning the Warriors two points. Devin Radmall and Nick Csere earned Snow Canyon four points for their second-place showing at first doubles and Jonathan Morgan and Trevor Muse did the same at second doubles with a second-place run.
Desert Hills crowned two sets of individual champions on the way to a third-place team finish with 15 total points. Seniors Braden Evans and Kyler Kennedy beat Radmall-Csere at first doubles 6-3, 6-4 for the gold. Austin Hardy and Conner McArthur avenged their region loss to Morgan and Muse with a 6-3, 7-5 victory at state in second doubles to win the title.
With no time left on the clock, Sam Slivers converted a 40-yard penalty kick to lift Snow Canyon’s rugby club team to a 16-15 win over Herriman.
Slivers, a senior captain on the team, got the chance after a late foul on the Mustangs. With the clock reading 0:00, Slivers split the uprights for the win, the Warriors third in five years.
Herriman had led 15-6 early in the second half, but the scrappy Warriors fought back in the rain-soaked conditions at the University of Utah.
Snow Canyon beat East 34-29 in the title game last May. The Warriors beat the Leopards Friday to earn this year’s trip to the title game.
Richmond Anderson had the only try for Snow Canyon in Saturday’s match. SC is ranked No. 10 in the country in high school rugby.
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