Region champs despite flu

by Scott Boyle

The biggest winner for the week in Monticello was the flu, which not only left over 50 kids absent per day at the high school, but put serious dents in the various sports teams. 

San Juan also suffered from the effects of the flu, although not as serious as the Bucks. 

But other than the weakened Buckaroo football team, which was laid out by the flu and the Duchesne Eagles, 38-6, the teams came out of the week OK, just hoping the flu bug has run its course through the teams.

Despite a week of sick kids, coach Jeff Hunt and the Buckaroos still managed to capture first place in both the girls and boys region cross country race held at Loyd’s Lake on October 14. 

The boys were led by Nash Freestone, the fourth Buckaroo to lead the team in a race this year. This is a definite plus heading to state. Freestone, who finished second to Codarelton Ben of Whitehorse, was followed closely by Sean Getter and David Boyle in third and fourth. 

The girls were paced by Macee Nielson, Loren Randall and Shelby Lewis who finished 1,2,4 to give the gals the win. 

Volleyball kept the Bucks in the win column over Monument Valley and Navajo Mountain, although the gals played without starters Mercedez Slade and Bryanna Kershaw, both down with the flu. 

The Bucks finish the regular season this week on Thursday at Grand before heading to the state tournament next week.

The football team spent the week practicing with as few as 14 healthy kids for coach Jake Downard.  The lack of practice time and weakened-by-the-flu players left the Bucks out of gas and flat against the Eagles, who jumped on the Bucks right from the start and never let up. 

The offense never did get going as the Bucks managed only a touchdown from the defense when Devin Wright returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter.  Hope the flu has done its awful duty and moved on.

A big game looms for the Buck football team this week with a region matchup against the Milford Tigers.  The two teams are tied for first in the region with 2-0 records. This game will determine the seeds for the state tournament.  Last week the Tigers lost to the Altamont Longhorns 20-0, a team the Bucks beat 21-12 two weeks ago. 

The Tigers and Buckaroos have played seven times before, with Monticello coming out on top all seven times, the most recent a 32-0 shutout in 2007.  The Bucks also shutout the Tigers the first time the two teams played in 1985, 31-0. 

In fact, the Bucks are averaging 32 points in the series while giving up only seven, including those two shutouts. A win gives the Bucks the South region championship, a quarterfinal round bye and a semi-final game most likely against the winner of next week’s Altamont-Duchesne contest.

Milford is coached by MHS alumni and long time coach, Robert Langston.  In his third year at Milford but his seventh year as a high school football coach, Langston has accumulated a 17-41 overall record. He has put together a fine season this year, going 5-4 so far.

“All we saw was blue!”, exclaimed observers at the Region 13 cross-country Championships hosted by North Sevier High School on October 13 in Aurora, UT.  San Juan High School boys and girls cross-country teams both dominated, winning first place Region 13 trophies. 

San Juan High School hasn’t had a boys’ team win a region cross-country championship since 1995 when Dave Hickman, Randy Nakai and Wayne Perhson, among others, won both the Region and State XC Championships. 

Taylor Francom came in first overall with a time of 17:47 followed closely by second place finisher and teammate Jade Grover (18:13). Next in for San Juan were Wheeler Heck (9th overall), Hans Hurst (10th overall) and Dallin Jacobsen.  Andrew Redd and Lane Palmer will also be running for the Broncos at State this week.

For the girls, seven of San Juan’s runners were in the top ten.  Katie Hiatt (20:47) led the race and finished first, with Brielle Francom (21:44) second, Makenzie Ward (21:59) third, and Kendra Parker fourth.  Trienna Arthur, Keosha Benally and Heather Palmer secured the last three spots on the Broncos 2009 state team.

The wins have Coaches Steve and Kimberly Hiatt excited for state.  Says Kim, “We [thought] that both the boys and girls would have a great chance of taking first at region.”

“It was a great day for our teams,” said Coach Stephen Hiatt.  “They’ve worked hard all season and deserve the rewards of today.” 

Adds Kim, “As for State, early in the season, the Deseret News favored our girls to win the 2A girls XC State Championship again this year.  However, Katie Hiatt and Brielle Francom could be the only ones returning from last year’s state team. 

“Sophomores Makenzie Ward and Kendra Parker have consistently placed third and fourth for us, but freshman Trienna Arthur, sophomores Kelli Meyer, Abby Hatcher, Keosha Benally and Heather Palmer (who was our 7th runner last year) keep changing places for the 5th, 6th and 7th top positions.” 

“Steve’s boys are improving every week.  He believes that Taylor Francom should have a great chance of taking the top spot at state for the 2A Boys.  Jade Grover also should be in the top ten. 

“Then there’s the boys’ pack of Hans Hurst, Wheeler Heck and Dallin Jacobsen.  A strong spirit of competition pushes them each week to stay with and pass each other.  Last week at the John Thornton, all PR’d with two of them breaking into the 18’s.

“In a nutshell, we think both teams have a good shot at taking top spots at State.  But you never know, some other 2A school could have some amazing freshman runners come out of nowhere to take it.  That’s what’s fun about XC.  Rowland Hall boys will be a tough team for our boys to race against.  We just saw Region 14 results... wow!  That school has some fast boys! Gotta Love IT!!!”

The Broncos compete, along with the Buckaroos, at the State Cross-Country Championships on Wednesday, October 21 at Sugarhouse Park.

Bronco football
The Bronco football team finished the regular season in dominating fashion, shutting out the defending 1A champs North Sevier Wolves, 37-0. It is their second shutout in a row. 

The win leaves the Broncos at the top of the 2A heap as the only undefeated team in 2A play after the Rams from South Sevier lost their first game of the season to Enterprise last week.  It also gives the Broncos the top seed from the east and a first round matchup at home in late October against either the Gunnison Bulldogs or the Kanab Cowboys.

Everyone wash your hands often and keep them away from your face!!!

The Broncos achieved their stated goal of playing both days of the two-day 2A state golf tournament, held at Ogden’s The Barn Golf Course. 

Only the top eight teams from the first day make the cut to play the second day.  Excited to play both days were Randy Bowers, who led the team to an eighth place finish with a two day score of 182, Shea Swenson, who shot 189, Cameron Turk (203), Spencer Bradford (208), Tim Turk (210), and Tyrell Nielson (212).

San Juan Record

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