Grand County High School’s fall sports are starting soon, with student athletes and coaches already preparing and practicing for their respective seasons.
The first sport to start was the GCHS boys golf team, which had its first match of the season on Aug. 2 at the Cove View course in Richfield. At that match, the Red Devils, now competing at the 3A level after winning the 2A state title in each of the past two years, lost their first region match in nearly three years, taking second place to North Sanpete by a single stroke, 310 to 311. The GCHS boys will play their only home region match of the season this week at the Moab Golf Club on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. Joining Grand in the new 3A Region 15 are Richfield, North Sanpete, San Juan, Manti, Emery and South Sevier.
The cross-country team is the next sport to begin the fall season, with the Red Devils traveling to Salt Lake County to compete in the Premier Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 12. A total of 18 athletes are on this year’s team — eight boys and eight girls. See related article.
Next Tuesday, Aug. 15, the GCHS girls soccer team will open its season with a non-region game at Moab against Carbon High. The varsity contest is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
“I’m psyched to be here,” said first-year head coach Chris Beitner during the team’s practice on Monday, Aug. 7.
A total of 14 players are currently on the roster, including a trio of seniors — Brooklin Hugentobler, Esveidi Palma and Desi Sanchez — who are all returning starters and will serve as team captains. Other returning players include juniors Josie Camps and Aspen Darcy and sophomore Akira Scovill. New players include freshmen Emree Olsen and Tava Walling. Coach Beitner said the team is still looking for more players to join the ranks.
The day after school starts, Friday, Aug. 18, the Red Devil football team will kick off its season with a home non-region game against 1A Monticello. Although Grand is moving up to 3A in all other sports, it will continue to compete at the 2A level for football only, joining Beaver, Enterprise, North Sevier, San Juan and South Sevier in the 2A South division. Grand defeated the Buckaroos at Monticello 21-7 in last year’s season opener. This year’s opener, which is the team’s annual endowment game, is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. A full football preview story will appear in next week’s issue of The Times-Independent.
The Lady Devil tennis team will begin the fall season on Tuesday, Aug. 22 when team members travel to play both Manti and North Sanpete on the road. Grand will then host matches against Richfield and South Sevier the following Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., respectively. The Lady Devils had their first official practice on Monday, Aug. 7 under first-year head coach Skylar Johnson, who said a total of 12 athletes are on the roster thus far. Returning players include juniors Jamie Day, London Richards, and Annie Kopell, as well as sophomores Kiersten Kimmerle and Emma Millis. New freshmen on the team include Chloe Talbot, Kyla Jackman and Maara Holyoak.
The last GCHS fall sport to start will be the Lady Devil volleyball team, which had a total of 20 girls at its opening practice Aug. 7, 10 of whom are freshmen.
“We’re a young team,” said third-year head coach Brittney Melton.
Grand’s first game will be Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Green River, with the varsity game scheduled for 6 p.m. The same two teams will play at Moab the following week, on Wednesday, Aug. 30, also at 6 p.m. In between those contests, the Lady Devils will travel to St. George for a weekend tournament, the Dixie Flyer Invitational, on Aug. 25 and 26.
All fall sports athletes are reminded to get their required physical exams and online paperwork completed as soon as possible, if they have not already done so, via the registermyathlete.com website.