Hanging on to the last bit of summer

As the calendar turns toward the middle of July, it’s hard to believe that high school football season is barely over a month away – 37 days, to be exact. Another year of Friday nights under the lights starts Aug. 18, and teams can begin official practices July 31.

There’s a lot of change going on among teams as well. While Cedar’s coaching staff remains mostly in tact, with Josh Bennett starting his third season at the helm, Canyon View is embarking on a new era under new head coach Skyler Miller, who took over from Robby Robinson. Word on the street has the Falcons moving toward a triple-option approach on offense, but nothing will be confirmed in that area for a few weeks.

With Skyler Miller’s arrival at CV, former assistant coach Carter Miller elected to move on and is taking over as the head coach at Parowan for Anthony Chidester, who lasted one season. Football is the only sport where the Rams will stay in the 1A ranks with the latest UHSAA realignment.

As for opening night, Cedar and Canyon View both start at home and Parowan heads on the road. The Redmen will face Provo, the Falcons welcome Beaver, and the Rams travel to face Altamont.

Cedar opens play in the new Region 9 at Canyon View on Sept. 8. It’s the beginning of what promises to be an interesting year because the days of 3AA South and all teams qualifying for the playoffs are over. Only the top four finishers advance to the postseason and they will be part of the 4A ranks for at least the next two school years.

Parowan will participate in all sports outside of football as part of the new 2A Region 18.

-The Major League Baseball All-Star break is here, and we’re seeing serious separation of a clear favorite in each league. Both the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers have already reached 60 wins on the season.

While those two teams are thriving, the rest are just there and plodding along. In the American League, only the Boston Red Sox have reached as many as 50 wins (50-39). The Washington Nationals (52-36) and Milwaukee Brewers (50-41) have cleared that mark as the other division leaders in the National League.

Colorado and Arizona have also passed the 50-win mark, but have the misfortune of being in the same division as the Dodgers. Barring a complete collapse in the second half, the Rockies and Diamondbacks are likely to face each other in the NL Wild Card game come October.

It certainly helps that no other team has a winning record.

-The Little League All-Star tournaments are under way, and the championship games across all divisions will happen at Veterans Park (baseball) and Fields at the Hills (softball). Here are the scheduled times for all of the title games (second games to follow, if needed):

Baseball 11-year-olds: 11 a.m. Saturday

10-year-old Minors: 1:15 p.m.

9 to10 year-olds: 3:30 p.m.

Juniors: 5 p.m.

Majors: 5:45 p.m.

Softball Minors: 11 a.m. Thursday

Softball Majors: 1:30 p.m.

Softball Juniors: 4 p.m.

The softball championship games are being played two days earlier due to a fast turnaround for the title winners’ respective West Regionals. Juniors begin July 20 in Tucson, Ariz., and Majors start July 21 in San Bernardino, Calif.

-Saturday’s NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway didn’t have much in the way of excitement, but fans got jarred awake when a caution came out for Kurt Busch’s blown engine with less than two laps remaining.

Instead of blowing the field away by at least 13 seconds, Martin Truex Jr. had to get a shove to the front from Kyle Larson and hold on for his third win of the year at the Quaker State 400 as a four-car wreck happened behind him.

Truex Jr. ruled the day, leading 152 laps and taking turns at the front with Kyle Busch throughout the night. Busch, who won the XFINITY race at Kentucky earlier in the day, led 112 laps and ended up fifth.

While Busch has 88 career wins in NASCAR’s No. 2 series, he’s closing in on the one-year anniversary of his last Cup victory, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. As a team, Joe Gibbs Racing is still winless on the season and has only three checkered flags since last July – two from Denny Hamlin and one from the now-retired Carl Edwards.

Every team goes through slumps, but it’s all about team when it comes to putting winning cars on the track. If one part fails, the rest won’t last very long.

Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter @TommyZee81 or email tominator19@yahoo.com.

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