Laura Seitz, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Forget the pressure Hurricane's football team was feeling to win the 3A state championship after three consecutive losses in the title game.
Hurricane middle linebacker Jared Edwards had an entire family legacy to reverse.
Edwards' grandfather, Wayne, father Chris, uncle Kerry and brothers Justin and Corey had all been a part of state championship games for Hurricane. All had lost.
Grandpa Wayne coached the 1983 team that lost to Morgan 15-0 in the state title game. Father Chris and uncle Kerry played in back-to-back state championship losses in 1982 and 1983. Justin was the center for the Tigers in their defeat against Juan Diego in 2008. Kicker Corey Edwards played in all three losses to the Soaring Eagle the last three years.
Finally, Edwards earned a championship ring that his entire family can share when Hurricane defeated Desert Hills 21-0 in the 3A title game on Friday. The middle linebacker had another outstanding game for the Tigers, leading the defense with 10 total tackles.
"For my family, I mean my grandpa as a coach, he tried," Edwards said. "My dad on the '82-'83 teams, he tried. Both my brothers have been here many times. We finally got it. We finally got it. It means so much. You can't understand how much it means to us."
Chris Edwards was beaming following the title win, taking pictures and celebrating with players and coaches. His son's victory was cathartic to the other family members who fell short of winning a state championship.
"This is a very, very big day for us," Chris Edwards said. "We're very excited, very emotional. This is a very meaningful day for us. We feel like we can move on now. We broke the curse, and life's good."
Edwards suffered a break during the season — but continued to rack up tackles and play with a high motor. He broke his wrist in Week 7 against Pine View and has played wearing a soft cast since then. He had double-digit tackles in five games, and finished with a total of 118 stops this season.
"He's a great player," said Hurricane coach Chris Homer. "He's an undersized middle linebacker (at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds), but he's always on the ball and things like that."
Edwards, a junior, led an outstanding Hurricane defensive effort that limited Desert Hills to just 117 total yards. The Thunder averaged just 1.8 yards per rush, as Edwards helped make running through the middle a futile exercise.
"We just came out hard as a defense, and as a team," Edwards said. "We all would give our lives for each other. We did our best, worked our hardest and wanted to be physical."
Edwards played his heart out to not only help Hurricane to its first state football championship in 63 years, but also because he had extra motivation to win for his family.
"I remember looking on the field, both of my brothers had just tears in their eyes after they lost (state championship games) and I didn't want that to be me," Edwards said. "I wanted to do it for them."