Two calendar years and three football seasons later, Timpanogos High finally has a gridiron victory to brag about.
Mark it in the 1998-99 yearbook in big, bold letters: Timpanogos 51, Copper Hills 35."It was neat for the seniors to break through," said Timpanogos head coach Mark McKenney, who's been at the Orem school since it opened in 1996. "This win was for everybody, for the two senior classes before that really laid the foundation for us."
McKenney said there wasn't much of a raging celebration in the Timberwolves' corner of Utah County Friday night. No balloons, no parades, no team pizza party.
"We had practice this morning, so that curtailed things a little bit," he laughed. "I think it was more like a big exhalation."
The sigh of relief is warranted.
In walloping the Grizzlies, the Timberwolves avoided becoming the first school in Utah's history to start with 19 straight losses. Timpanogos also sheds the distinction of having the state's longest current losing streak.
"We're all excited, but at the same time it's just one win," McKenney said. "It's just one game, it wasn't the state championship."
Good enough for now, though. They do, after all, have the best record in the state.
SO FAR, SO GOOD: Six first-year head coaches notched wins in their debuts Friday.
The new (at least to their current school) coaches to win are Olympus' Mike Miller, Pine View's Sark Arslanian, Lehi's Steve Clements, Park City's Mike Shepherd, South Sevier's Clint Christiansen and Altamont's Mark Barnum.
Seven coaches will have to wait another week to earn win No. 1 at their new school.
A PERFECT START: So which region is the toughest in the state? So far it's Region 3 by a landslide. Its seven teams were victorious in the opening week, and in impressive fashion.
The Region 3 squads outscored their opponents 236-94, including two close, tough victories by Alta (13-10 over Viewmont) and second-ranked Brighton (34-27 against fifth-ranked Granger). Fourth-ranked Orem, Mountain View, Timpanogos, Jordan and Hillcrest all won by at least 16 points.
A NOT-SO-PERFECT START: Region 8, on the other hand, had a pretty rough opening week. It was the state's only region to go winless, as Carbon, Delta, Emery, North Sanpete and Richfield suffered losses.
STOP, THIEF: Hunter's David Fiefia has gotten plenty of press for being one of the state's best running backs. American Fork found out the Wolverines' returning first-team all-stater can catch the ball, too.
Unfortunately for the Cavemen, he was one of their best receivers on Friday. Fiefia, a talented two-way player, picked off three Am.F. passes from his defensive back position in third-ranked Hunter's 15-8 win. His last interception came at the goal line late in the game.
Fiefia also caught what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown, a 20-yard reception in the third quarter from quarterback Jason Reilly.
THE RANK AND FILE: Not many drastic changes took place in the Deseret News' prep football class-by-class rankings after Week 1. In fact, all four No. 1-ranked teams - Skyline (5A), Highland (4A), Uintah (3A) and Grantsville (2A) - stayed put on top.
Highland was the only top-ranked team to lose. But the Rams are keeping their No. 1 spot since they only lost to the state's overall top-ranked team, Skyline, by a touch-down, 13-6.
Canyon View is the sole new face in the rankings. The Falcons, who beat Juab 35-21, broke into Class 3A's Top Five at No. 5, replacing Delta.
CORRECTIONS: Brighton football captain Sean Escobar was misidentified as a Granger defensive back in a game story in Saturday's paper.
Another article incorrectly listed the scorers in Bountiful's 19-0 win over West. In actuality, Braves quarterback Seth Patterson connected with tight end Brady Bahr for two touchdowns (11 and 18 yards), and Tommy Brady had a five-yard TD run.
PREPS GALORE: Be sure to check out the Deseret News' new "Inside Preps" page this Tuesday. The first full-out edition will include the state's overall Top 20 football rankings, the first girls soccer rankings, a prep notebook, preps of the week and an in-depth story on one of the hottest issues facing Utah high school sports this year.
Class 5A Record Prv.
1. Skyline 1-0 1
2. Brighton 1-0 2
3. Hunter 1-0 3
4. Orem 1-0 4
5. Granger 0-1 5
Class 4A Record Prv.
1. Highland 0-1 1
2. Olympus 1-0 3
3. East 1-0 4
4. Timpview 0-1 2
5. Bonneville 1-0 5
Class 3A Record Prv.
1. Uintah 1-0 1
2. Dixie 1-0 2
3. Morgan 1-0 3
4. Sn. Canyon 1-0 5
5. Canyon View 1-0 -
Class 2A Record Prv.
1. Grantsville 1-0 1
2. Millard 1-0 2
3. San Juan 1-0 3
4. Manti 1-0 5
5. Juab 0-1 4