BOUNTIFUL There was no special prize awaiting Bonneville's boys soccer team after it beat top-ranked Bountiful 1-0 on Tuesday. What the third-ranked Lakers got was the same thing they'll get from every other Region 5 win this spring three points.
But make no mistake, this one meant so much more to Bonneville than that, at least it did for all the Laker players who had stood on Juan Diego's field at the conclusion of last year's 4A title game.
Amid much fanfare and what Bonneville felt were controversial refereeing decisions, Bountiful beat the Lakers to the 4A state championship last May. Ever since, the name "Bountiful" had been circled on the calendars of all the Bonneville players that returned.
The Lakers got their chance Tuesday to earn a measure of revenge for what happened, and they didn't disappoint. Levi Brooke capped a fantastic first-half performance by Bonneville with a goal in the 29th minute, and the Lakers stayed composed defensively from start to finish en route to the shutout win.
Coach Mike Hickman said afterward that he didn't push Tuesday's contest to his players as a huge game, but he also acknowledged that he didn't have to come up with any motivational speeches.
Not least of all for central midfielder Alex Bernier, a two-year captain.
"I've been waitin' for this game the whole year," said Bernier, who shielded Bonneville's solid backline, got forward on a number of occasions and just played extremely well all afternoon.
"This is the matchup we wanted. Ever since last year, we've been lookin' forward to it and just working for this game ... it would be so much better if it was a championship game still feels good, though."
It took Bonneville a few minutes to get going in the first half, but once it did, Bountiful simply had no answer. The Lakers, with Bernier and Ethan Summers in the middle, controlled possession, reversed the ball and carved out a number of good scoring chances.
And in the 29th minute, Brooke latched onto a through ball from Jake Ames and calmly slotted it home to account for the game's lone goal.Bountiful switched its formation in the second half and played much better, but the Lakers did what was necessary to stifle their opponent.