Among the 4A contenders are Bountiful, Bonneville, Murray, Herriman, Salem Hills, Provo, Springville and Olympus. One surprise is East, which got off to a 7-1 start this spring.
The Bear River Bears are very familiar with the pressure of being a favorite.
“I did notice down in St. George any time somebody played us, they were excited about the challenge of trying to beat us,” said Bears head coach Calvin Bingham. “People recognize we’ve done well for a while.” Still, he believes the race for this year’s 3A title is wide-open.
“I think it’s going to be an exciting race,” he said. “I think we’ll be one of the teams that will have a chance, if we get settled on a starting line-up.” He’s grateful that some of the toughest competition will come from his own region, including Grantsville.
“You have to appreciate good competition because when you win it makes it a lot more meaningful,” he said. The Bears are led by 3A MVP Jordan Theurer, who tried to pitch against Stansbury after suffering from kidney stones.
The team that battled the Bears for the title, Spanish Fork, was voted No. 2, and Juan Diego, Snow Canyon, Stansbury, Grantsville, Payson and Wasatch could all be in the mix this season.
Soaring Eagle pitcher Maddie Davis is 5-0 this season, while Grantsville is winning with three pitchers, including 3-0 Whitney Fields.
In the state’s smallest classification, it was Manti that coaches voted the No. 1 team. But just like her counterparts in the larger classifications, Manti head coach Susan Hatch sees quite a few teams with a chance to win that 2A title.
“I think it’s tough,” she said of the 2A race. “There are some really good teams all throughout the state. I think it’s anybody’s game. There are a bunch of teams that could be there.”
Manti is led by pitcher Lizzy Palmer, and Hatch points out that there are no seniors in the starting line-up.
One of the most likely teams to be battling for the championship is perennial power San Juan. Pitcher Tatianna Su’e Su’e has a 5-1 record against very good competition. She also has three home runs.
In addition to San Juan and Manti, South Summit, South Sevier, Emery and Gunnison are all off to great starts and will likely be in the mix for top honors.