The 3A South Region just got tougher.
As part of Utah High School Activities Association region realignment for the 2017 season and beyond, Juan Diego and Summit Academy were moved into the 3A South region. For the Soaring Eagle, who were the 2016 3A state champions, there will be a target on their backs, especially in region play.
“Anytime you win a championship, I think the teams in your classification are going to look at you and say, ‘We’ve got to beat those guys,’ so that’s always the case, we’ve been champions before, we’re used to it, so we’ll just try to deal with it,” Juan Diego head coach John Colosimo said.
For Colosimo and the Soaring Eagle, a move from 3A North to 3A South will mean less travel for the team, which will mean a fresher Juan Diego team for opponents to face.
“I think it’s better in terms of less travel. I think the North Region, when we were traveling up to Union and down to Carbon and Emery, was a lot more travel. This is a bit more travel-friendly for us, and I think that’s going to be important. Instead of sitting on a bus for three or four hours, we get a couple hour bus ride, an hour bus ride, it’s a lot better than having to take those long trips,” Colosimo said. “The High School Activities Association did us a favor, helped reduce our travel, so that’s great.”
Summit Academy, who lost only one game in the 2016 regular season, but fell in the semifinal round of the playoffs to Beaver, also joins the region and is one of the favorites to win the 3A South in 2017.
“Summit Academy has the potential to be pretty good this year. Seven returners on both sides of the ball and four returning starters on the O-line. It will be difficult moving up a classification and losing an all-state QB,” Summit Academy head coach Les Hamilton.
For Juab and head coach Mike Bowring, the addition of Summit Academy and Juan Diego bolsters an already strong region.
“We’ve got to be very, very disciplined against some of those teams that we have to play, you don’t have any room for error. Your margin of error is very small. You have to know exactly what your job is every single play, and that’s the quest now for perfection. One guy doesn’t do their assignment on…