On Friday, October 7, the Springville Cross Country team traveled to Spanish Fork to participate in the Region 8 Championships. The boys owned the varsity race by placing its top 4 individuals in the first 6 places. Grant Gardner defended his region title by winning the meet with a time of 15:06.1 for 3 miles, followed by teammates Brandon Garnica (2nd), Haden Penrod (3rd), and Caleb Garnica (6th). This is the first time in school history that the boys team has ever won regions.
Gardner said, “It was a very exciting race. It was cool to see the boys win in such a dominating fashion.”
Gardner said his personal goal heading into state is to take the individual title and to give his team that low stick score. Haden Penrod was stoked with how the boys finished. Penrod has been on the Varsity squad since his freshman year. So, for the team to win regions his senior year, was an awesome feeling.
The girls finished in second place only 3 points off of Maple Mountain. Julie Sumsion won the race in a time of 17:54.4. She was followed by teammates Ella Park (6th) and Mariah Skinner (9th). Sumsion said that the team did really good.
“The team has worked so hard all season, and it was very hard to finish 2nd by only three points,” said Sumsion.
Park said the race was fun but hard. “It was hard to win with the Maple Mountain runners running as a pack, but it was fun and it helped push us,” said Park
Overall, the boys and girls Varsity and JV teams finished either first or second in all of the races. After this race, the boys proved they will be a team to watch at State. Springville has had a very successful season beating nationally ranked schools and writing history along the way.
Head Coach Sam Smith said, “The team exceeded the expectations that they had. The boys went in as the favorite, but the girls came in as the second ranked team. Almost everyone beat their personal records which was the overall goal for the team.” Smith went on to explain, “I know the girls are frustrated with finishing second. I talked with the Maple Mountain coach and he complimented us saying that we really made his team work for the Region Title. I know we can beat Maple Mountain, which is one of our goals going into state. We hope to see the girls place top 3 at state and for the boys to win state. Grant and Julie have run really well for us all season, but we need everyone else to run their best because they can’t win state on their own.”
If the boys can finish on the podium at state, this will improve their chances at earning an invitation to the National meet in December.
Gardner commented, “In order for us to win state, we need to race how we’ve been racing all season. We don’t need to do anything crazy. We just need everyone to do their job and we can walk out of it with the state trophy.”
Springville hasn't consistently been recognized for their cross coutry teams in the past. It has managed to produce some great individual runners who were very successful at the collegiate level. But, this is the first time in which the Red Devils have had an extremely talented boys and girls team in the same season.
Penrod said, “Not a lot of people know who we are right now. Springville is just another school that hasn’t really been recognized for its cross country team. Hopefully, after state, we will be able to emerge and receive the recognition we deserve.”
The Springville Red Devils remain undefeated on the season after a huge 49-6 win over Payson in region play at home on Friday, October 7. Jantsen Thorpe connected with Brennen Rymer for two touchdowns while Payton Kelepolo and Bradley Nicol added two rushing touchdowns a piece; Cole Bowers also added a touchdown in the win.
On Friday, September 30, Springville High’s Red Devils kept their undefeated season alive with a 48-7 home region win against the Wasatch Wasps.
Quarterback Jantsen Thorpe connected on two touchdown passes to Brennen Rymer with 84 total yards, while Payton Kelepolo rushed for two TDs, 12 carries, and 65 yards as Springville dominated from start to finish to improve to 7-0 on the season and 4-0 in region play. Thorpe finished with 192 passing yards.
Cole Bowers added 3 carries, 75 yards, and 1 TD and Bennett Hullinger added two receptions and 68 yards in the win.
On Thursday, September 29, the Lady Red Devils matched up with the Lady Lions ending in an exciting Springville victory in which they shut out Payson 3-0. Payson and Springville stayed close in all 3 rounds, but Springville always pulled through and won scoring 25 points in each round. This was a great morale boost for our volleyball team.
“I think we have a chance to win region,” said senior Nicole Wheeler, who is looking forward to having fun and going out with a bang her last year of high school.
The volleyball team is excited for the rest of the season and can’t wait to see how it goes.
photos by Miranda Bray
Red Devil runners traveled to Idaho on Friday, September 23, to compete in the Bob Firman Invitational. The last time Springville attended this meet was four years ago; so, some of the seniors on the team were freshman when they last competed in Idaho.
“The really cool thing to watch is how different things are this year compared to then. We have a mentally stronger and physically faster team than Springville has ever had, and it showed at this meet,” said Sam Smith, head coach.
The boys team placed 3rd right behind the top 4A team in Utah, but 4th overall school competing. The girls took 9th right behind one of the top teams in 4A as well.
Smith said, “I'm excited to see what the rest of the season has in store. All the credit for these successes needs to go to the athletes because they are the ones that are up at 7 in the morning every day in the summer working hard. Now, they are finally seeing some of the rewards which is cool.”
On Friday, September 16, Springville High’s Cross-Country team competed in the UIAAA (Utah Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association) meet in Spanish Fork. This was a great meet for Springville. The boys placed first and the girls took 3rd with many individuals medaling in their respective races.
“It was fun to see both the boys and the girls teams come together and run as a pack, because that is how you win meets, when they run together,” said Sam Smith, head coach.
On Thursday, September 22, Springville High band students and band director, Mr. Ben Major, had a huge surprise from Lana Hiskey, Nebo Education Foundation Director—a $10,000 anonymous cash donation to SHS band.
Major said, “All of the money will be spent for band related activities. Most of the funds will be used to purchase pit equipment.”
"We are all thankful for kind people in our community who care enough to help our band program succeed. Today in band class we were all very surprised to see people from the district come in with a huge check in their hands. It was completely unexpected, and we were all so excited. As a student, I know this is really going to be the boost our band needs to complete our goals and support other students in the school through our music at sporting events and assemblies. The students in the band work extremely hard and this is a reinforcement to them that people care about arts and music,” said band member Megan McConnell.
Band student Jonathan Young said, “The donation was a surprise for me. I saw Ms. Miley, Mr. Beardall and one other lady walk in with this huge check made out to the SHS Marching Band for $10,000, and I gawked at the enormity of the amount. I don't know how we're going to use the donation yet, but I know this will be extremely helpful in repairing instruments and purchasing replacement instruments. I’m very glad that we received this generous donation.”
“We are very grateful and excited. These funds will help out a lot. Over the past couple of years, the band has seen the most growth ever. Because of this, we were in desperate need for equipment and funding. This donation helped boost the morale of the band members,” said Major.
pictured from left to right: Tiffanie Miley (Assistant Principal), Ben Major (Band Director), Lana Hiskey (Nebo District), and Jason Beardall (Dean of Students)