Kudos to the Utah High School Activities Assn. Executive Committee and staff for their thorough research, careful consideration and, in my opinion, correct decision regarding the unfinished East-Jordan game – that it is up to the schools to decide whether to count the game (and stats) where it stands, or play the final quarter and 41 seconds, or treat it as a scrimmage and not count it at all.
Meanwhile, after four weeks, 18 teams remain undefeated while another 18 have yet to win.
Three games pair unbeaten teams, and they should all be good ones: Alta at Jordan and East at Woods Cross in blockbuster region openers and Juan Diego at Granger in a non-region contest. Delta at Taylorsville pits winless squads.
Fast Starts with New Coaches
No first time head coaches are undefeated after four weeks, but two that moved to different schools and one that returned to his former locale are.
Granger's Cecil Thomas was 31-7 at Cottonwood from 2007-09. The Lancers started 4-0 last year, but with a win over Juan Diego, will see 5-0 for the first time since 1989 when they began the season with a 7-0 record.
Woods Cross' Justin Spencer went 18-16 at West from 2009-11, but after winning just four games last year, the Wildcats have matched their best-ever, 4-0 starts of 1978 and '88.
Jerry Cowan returned to Duchesne, where he coached the Eagles to a 40-17 mark from 2003-07. Duchesne, which hasn't lost in over two years, has the fifth longest winning streak in state history – 25 – and can tie Bingham for fourth with a win. (Timpview holds the record at 36.)
Seven other first-year coaches have lost just once. That includes four first-time coaches, Kirk Chambers at Spanish Fork, Scott Gorringe at Summit Academy, Cary Whittingham at Timpview and Malin Williams at Enterprise.
More Top 4-0 Starts
Like Woods Cross, Timpanogos also won only four games in 2011. But the Timberwolves – who were 0-4 this time last season – have also matched their best-ever start (2010) and tied a school-record winning streak of four games. Timpanogos, with Ed Larson in his third season, hosts winless Springville this week.
Syracuse has also equaled its best-ever start, achieved both of the past two seasons, but this week visits Davis, which leads the series 4-1.
Alta is 4-0 for the first time since 2008, and with a victory over Jordan will be 5-0 for the first time since starting 11-0 in '03. Alta has claimed six straight from the Beetdiggers, including 21-14 last year, to take an 18-8 series lead. Jordan last defeated Alta in 2005.
If Brighton gets by Pleasant Grove, the Bengals will be 5-0 for the first time since winning their first 12 games in 2004. Brighton defeated PG last year 27-3 to narrow the Viking lead to 5-2. Of course, PG's first-year head coach Les Hamilton is familiar with the Bengals from his days at Alta and has a 4-1 record against Brighton mentor Ryan Bullett.
Dixie has to upset Hurricane to see 5-0 for the first time since the '05 season.
A couple of teams under new management have shown the most improvement – record wise anyway – this season. Union, 0-10 last season, broke an 11-game losing skein, and is 3-1 with Matt Labrum, who was just 17-35 at Parowan from 2007-11. With a winnable home game against Payson, the Cougars could have their most victories since the 2008 season.
Cyprus is also 3-1 after going 0-9 last year. The Pirates ended a 10-game losing streak under new coach Scott Wooldridge, who previously coached at Nampa (Idaho) High (36-24 from 2006-11).