Pine View's track record in state championship games isn't that impressive.
In 2004 the Panthers were slaughtered 47-14 by Bear River, which was led by Mr. Football winner Jason Zundel. A year later, it was another Mr. Football winner, Riley Nelson, that did the damage as Logan creamed Pine View 56-21.
Those two blowouts hit very close to home for numerous Pine View players who will take the field in this Friday's 4A state title game against Timpview at Rice-Eccles Stadium. To be specific, coach Ray Hosner said that 12 current players had older brothers who played in the 2004 and 2005 title games, with many playing in both.
"The alumni are like family, they are really pulling for us to win," said Riley Dias, who had a brother on the 2005 runner-up team. "To see his disappointment after the loss, that gives you all the more drive to work that much harder in the weight room."
Other Pine View players who have had older brothers go through the Pine View program and lose in the championship are: Taylor Orr, Trace Turley, Justin Ence, Alex Lark, Travis Tait, Adam Bangerter, Will Bangerter, Jared Needham, Michael Stephenson, Sam Hutchinson and Stephen Anderson.
Tait had two older brothers play in those championship games, and despite being an underclassman he was fortunate enough to be able to dress for those games and stand on the sideline.
"When I was up there with my brothers, it was exciting, it's just a different atmosphere," said Tait, who echoed Dias sentiment by saying, "I never want to feel that pain again."
Adam Bangerter was merely a freshman when Pine View lost in 2005, and he remembers how painful it was for the seniors, one of whom was his brother. Now that he's a junior and Pine View is one win away from the title that alluded his brothers, Bangerter said, "the team really wants to get it done for the seniors who want it so bad."
Despite the obvious emotions, the players and coaching staff are trying their hardest to keep their emotions in check.
"All of us know it's a big game, but we're just trying to think that it's another game and try not to over think it," said Bangerter.
For most of the Pine View juniors and seniors, this is their fourth appearance at Rice-Eccles Stadium, so playing in the big college football stadium shouldn't be an overwhelming experience. What could be overwhelming is playing Timpview, the most dominating defense in the state.
"They're a good team, they run the same stuff we do, so we just need to come out prepared," said Tait.Kickoff for Friday's 4A title game is 11 a.m.
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