I expected this week’s Sportshorts to be all about the double state championships in football won by local high schools, Monticello and San Juan, last Saturday, but football ended at least one week earlier than we fans would have liked.
Be that as it may, it has been an outstanding fall for our local high school teams. Already, MHS and SJHS teams have captured a third place at state, two seconds and two state championships, those coming by way of the boys cross country team at MHS and girls volleyball at MHS.
Add that to a fifth place finish in girls cross country and third/fourth in football and Monticello has dominated 1A overall sports so far.
San Juan has had several years where they have dominated in football, volleyball, softball and baseball. We simply field excellent teams down here, don’t we?
A big thanks to the kids for their efforts, the time, the dedication, the teamwork, the unity they exhibit and their coaches for fostering such valuable life skills in our youth.
Add to that the expertise, talent, and accomplishments of our high school students in academics, drama, music, forensics, etc., and you can see we are blessed with amazing schools, remarkable students and marvelous teachers and coaches.
I was in seventh grade when I first heard the rallying cry, “Take State!”
It was during the basketball season of 1967, and the Buckaroo team, headed by County Commissioner Bruce Adams, qualified for the state tournament for the first time in nearly 15 years.
I remember the cheerleaders carrying a sign around the gym with an outline of the state of Utah on it with the words “Take State.”
I wondered what kind of thievery the cheerleaders were promoting, having no idea what “take state” meant. I soon found out when the Bucks didn’t take state, but took sixth. So, some statistics about state championships at Monticello High School.
Monticello High has “taken state” a total of 43 times.
The first came in 1965, a state golf championship. That was followed by two more in 1966 and 1967. MHS has won a total of five state golf titles.
The next title was in football, in the 1969-70 school year, in a 7-6 thriller over Beaver which was the only “Take State” I personally actually ever took. Buckaroos have won three more football titles.
Cross country is where Buckaroos have took and taken the most titles. Twelve girls teams have won state cross country titles for MHS along with six boys teams.
Starting with Coach Joe Davis in 1973 and continuing with Coach Kent Adair in 2009, there have been eight state wrestling championships.
This year’s volleyball championship was the Buckaroos’ third, beginning in 1974 in the first season of girls volleyball in the state of Utah.
The girls have won two state track titles, one girls basketball championship and one softball title. The boys also have one title in basketball.
The Buckaroos have never won more than two state titles on the same school year, though that has happened 11 times.
From 1984 to 1988, the Bucks won two titles every year. Starting in 1973, with that wrestling title, the Bucks won at least one state title for eight years in a row.
The best decade since the advent of taking state at MHS has been the ‘80s, when 13 titles were took-ened. Nine titles in the ‘70s and the ‘90s led to a slow decade of the 2000s with only six. The two this fall are the first two in the decade of 2010.
“Take Some More State.”
SJ coach Monty Lee and Buckaroo head coach Lee Chadwick commented on the just completed season, lessons learned, perspectives gained.
“I really have thought hard on this and have determined I really have no wisdom, just a few random thoughts...
“As I told the boys, a game really doesn’t define who we are. We set out to be winners first, and then let the games fall where they may. Winning games becomes a by-product of who we are and what we do, and the games are just an occasional measuring stick to determine our progress.
“It was disappointing to not measure up the way we wanted and expected last Saturday, but as anyone who has followed the season and the boys closely will recognize, that is why there should never be too much stock put into the outcome of any single game. It wasn’t indicative of we are or what we feel we accomplished this season.
“Obviously I didn’t have the boys prepared for what they would face that particular day, which makes me glad it is only a game. There are, however, additional things we have focused on in our program.
“As our seniors move into larger roles into society, I hope that we as coaches have probably prepared them for what they face and habits they will need, as life is definitely not a game. I couldn’t be prouder than I am of those seniors who gave so much this year.
“I am also very greatful for assistant coaches Curtis (Welch), Reid (Sifford), and RL (Wilcox). They are men of integrity and strength, and should be commended for their willingness to give all that they do in helping these young men. Their selflessness is uncommon and certainly under-appreciated.”
“I have a thousand thoughts running through my head.
“Any time a starter goes down it has an impact on the entire scope of one’s team. Game plans need to be changed, other players have to step up and fill the void left, coaches need to make adjustments with personnel, etc.
“In small school football you don’t or can’t always replace a key figure like Logan (Monson), you just try and find a way to adjust and I thought our coaches and kids did that really well.
“One player didn’t get us to the position we were in and one player didn’t cost us either. That is one of those things I love about our program. it is a team effort, win or lose.
“My thoughts on the game? I have lost to some teams that we were better than and I have won against teams that were probably better than us. Millard was better than us Saturday afternoon. Would they be better than us on any other given day, we will never know.
“This is one of those losses I will have to shoulder the responsibility for. From the start of the game in electing to receive the kickoff and not take the wind, I knew better and that decision put our defense on their heels from the start and that was my mistake.
“Along with other questions I have in play calling and coaching decisions I made, I wish I had them to do over to see if they would have made a difference. Unfortunately that is not going to happen.
“I feel our kids did all they were asked to do, they left their hearts on the field, and they can certainly look themselves in the mirror and know they have no regrets in their efforts.
“I believe that for the most part we in this little circle of Blanding realize football is just a game and though it hurts like heck to lose, it is not the end of the world.
“We would love to have that trophy lifted over our heads and get our fingers measured for a championship ring; but 15 years from now, the trophy will be covered with dust, the ring won’t fit any more, we will all tell stories about how really good we were (I have found out the older we get the better we were). The one thing that will be forever a part of our lives will be the friendships we made and the lessons we learned.
“You don’t need a championship to have that and no one will care about the semi-final loss but these young men will always care about each other. They have experienced something much greater than the joy of winning a game they have experienced the honor and pride of PLAYING the game.”