COALVILLE When the Florida Gators won back-to-back NCAA men's basketball tournaments and earned a BCS national championship in college football in between those titles, they captured the attention of a sports world unaccustomed to seeing one team dominate both major college sports at the same time.
On a smaller scale, North Summit is poised to achieve a similar feat.
The Braves kicked things off by capturing their first 2A boys basketball title in Cedar City a year ago. After following with a 2A football title last November, North Summit is looking to defend its basketball championship by adding another one to its state title tally.
Other 2A schools are determined to prevent such a scenario from becoming a reality. And the Braves know it.
"It's challenging which makes it fun because you got a target on your back," senior guard Lee Foust said. "Everybody is gunning for you, so you got to rise to the challenge to beat them."
Beating teams has presented few challenges for North Summit. The Braves sprinted out to an 8-1 start before region play, including four wins over Region 11 opponents. They sit atop Region 14 with a 3-1 mark through four games.
"It was a long football season," junior forward Caden Richins said. "We had to get our feel back for basketball. We got it back and played good."
What is the secret formula to North Summit's success? Simply put, the Braves feature a perfect inside-outside balance which makes them a matchup nightmare.
Post players like Richins and Drew Robinson give the team a distinct height advantage and consistent interior offense. In the backcourt, Lee Foust and Devin Holmes mix in solid passing and a scoring punch from the perimeter.
All of the starters contribute a healthy dose of athleticism.
"We like to run the floor, and our big guys can run the floor," Braves coach Jerre Holmes said. "That makes that combination not only good in the half-court, but it's good for us fullcourt. We like to get out and run and when we do that, we seem to have more success." Three players Robinson, Richins and Foust average at least 12 points per game for the third-best scoring offense (65.8 ppg) in the state's 2A ranks.
Regardless of how North Summit's latest title quest turns out, several players on the current roster are already assured of leaving behind an impressive legacy. They were a part of the school's first team in 14 years to bring home a state title in boys basketball and the first team in 15 years to claim a state title in football."It's a good feeling, actually, to know (we) were a part of the football team and the basketball team that took state," Foust said.