It’s one of the classic clichés of coach speak. In search of something to give a boost to the fragile psyches of his or her young charges, being competitive against good teams can feel just as good as a victory.
Such was the case for the Canyon View Falcons on multiple occasions last week.
Girls soccer had lost three straight games in its return to Region 9 and things were looking bleak after 25 minutes against leader Snow Canyon. Two quick goals put the Falcons down early.
But when Morgan Haag scored her 10th goal of the season – tied for the state lead in all of 4A – with eight minutes remaining until the halftime break, it seemed to light a fire under her team.
CV’s Mia Smith netted the tying goal midway through the second half, but the Warriors broke the tie nine minutes later and escaped with the win.
It showed in the postgame huddles afterwards. Cheering was heard on the Canyon View side, and the Warriors listened with intense faces to head coach Kenny Kunde.
When a win for the winning side feels “disappointing,” then it shows how much good came from the Falcons’ performance.
And on the football side Sept. 1, Canyon View had everything come together against 5A Timpanogos. They tasted the lead for the first time this season, and even when the bigger visitors found a quick answer, it didn’t derail the team.
The Falcons got a strong performance from junior quarterback Colten Shumway, who ran wild through the Timberwolves defense to preserve several drives. The CV defense had a plus-four edge in turnovers (5-1), and the fifth turnover helped the offense secure the lead late.
And even when the Timberwolves tried to reclaim the edge with a minute left, Tyler Nelson broke through the front line and blocked what would have been the game-winning extra point.
New CV head coach Skyler Miller admitted a “rookie” mistake when he didn’t call a timeout in time to try for a two-pointer that would have put the Falcons up by seven, but Nelson’s block was the play that at least preserved hope for a little while longer.
With a rivalry game looming at Cedar for the Region 9 opener this week, the Falcons have every reason to believe things are looking way up in the team’s new triple-option offense.
-Was it really worth it?: The Southern Utah football team didn’t exactly light the world on fire in its season opener Sept. 2 at Oregon. Even with wildfires wreaking havoc in the area surrounding Autzen Stadium in Eugene, the Ducks were the ones with blazes in full effect.
The collateral damages: A 77-21 loss, 703 yards of total offense surrendered, and a road ahead that won’t get any easier.
After a road game at Stephen F. Austin this week and the home opener against Northern Iowa on Sept. 16, the big show of Big Sky play begins. Things will have to start turning around sooner than later if the T-Birds want to prove being picked seventh in the preseason polls was a mirage.
-Local update: He didn’t have a catch in Saturday’s 41-18 home win over Western Carolina, but Cedar High alum John Ursua came through with an other-worldly effort Aug. 26 in the season-opening 38-35 win over Massachusetts.
Ursua’s line: 12 catches, 272 yards and an 85-yard TD catch from quarterback Dru Brown in the second quarter. The Rainbow Warriors are off to a 2-0 start.
-Double the pleasure: Las Vegas Motor Speedway announced last week its drag strip has begun construction to add two more lanes of racing for a four-wide NHRA experience when the series returns to race for the first of its two yearly stops next April.
The Strip at LVMS will join ZMax Dragway at Charlotte Motor Speedway as the second NHRA stop to race four-wide. The good part is both tracks host the NHRA twice a year.
Double the pleasure, double the speed, double the noise and double the fun for all race fans.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter