GCHS football and cross-country teams kick off their fall seasons

By Nathaniel Smith • The Times-Independent

Grand County High School’s football team was defeated 42-6 in its opening game on Aug. 17 in Morgan. The Red Devils fell behind early and were unable to close the gap.

Morgan’s team, which is ranked second in 3A, used its home field advantage and ran away with the game, scoring 35 unanswered points in the first half. Grand, a 2A school, was unable to get on the board until the third quarter, when sophomore Jimmy Johnson tore down the field for a 62-yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed.

Grand may fare better against another 2A team during its first home game at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24. The Red Devils will face the Emery Spartans, who were defeated 42-9 by Richfield in the season opener for both teams.

Cross-Country

The cross-country team participated in its first meet, the Highland Invitational, on Aug. 17 at Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City. Coach Randy Martin said he was “very satisfied with the first meet’s results.” He noted it is difficult to gain much insight into where the team is at performance-wise because the meet’s conditions were unusually challenging.

“It was 95-plus degrees with about 70 percent humidity plus a lot of smoke in the air,” he said. Martin added that 12 runners had to be hospitalized for heat stroke, while another 20 to 30 were treated onsite for heat exhaustion. “The conditions were awfully challenging and times were slow because of that,” Martin pointed out.

As a much smaller school than many that attended the meet, Grand competed in the junior varsity division. The boys team placed 12th out of 40 teams, but the girls team was missing a few people and did not have enough runners to post a team score. Out of more than 400 competitors, junior Evan Ellison placed 8th and junior Malachi Ricks took 12th place. Meanwhile, two girls finished in the top 100 of their race, with junior Jessica Anderson taking 51st and senior Mercedes Zunich coming in 58th place.

Grand also had runners in the freshman race. Arthur Hawks took 4th place out of more than 200 racers. Bella Welch finished in 40th place in the freshman girls competition. “In general, I think we met our expectations and exceeded some expectations,” Martin said.

For its next meet, the team will travel to Saratoga Springs to compete in the Westlake Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 25. The team’s home meet, the Red Rock Invitational, will be hosted at the Moab Golf Club on Sept. 5.

Coming Up

Other Grand County High sports teams will also compete this week. At 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 22 the football C-team will play at San Juan. Boys Golf will travel to the Monticello Hideout Course on Aug. 23 for an 11 a.m. tee time.

Girls Tennis has a very busy week. On Thursday, the tennis team will host Manti for a 10:30 a.m. match. Friday, Aug. 24, the girls face off against San Juan at 11 a.m. and Emery at 4 p.m., both on their home court. Then on Saturday, Girls Tennis will hold a home tournament beginning at 8 a.m.

The Volleyball Varsity team starts its season with the Dixie Flyer Invitational Tournament in St. George on Aug. 24 and 25.