Sanpete football players show off in all-star game
By James Tilson
MANTI—The 3A football all-stars broke a recent string of defeats with a dominating performance in the 3A vs 1A/2A Utah high school football game held last Wednesday at Snow College, winning by a score of 48-21.
“These kids have put in a lot of effort these last few days,” said 3A Head Coach Rhett Bird. “I know a lot of them have jobs. But they took three days to come down here, and play football with us. It’s a good group of kids.”
Bird, the North Sanpete High School football coach, was selected to head the 3A team after a historic run to the 3A title game in the state playoffs last season. That was the first time the North Sanpete football team had competed in a state final in the school’s history. Bird said the 3A team’s victory was the first win for the team over the 1A/2A team for at least three years. Wanting to end that drought was a major motivating factor for the 3A team in their preparations.
Several players from Sanpete County appeared in the game, for both the 3A and 1A/2A teams. Kolton Petersen and Caden Madsen from Gunnison Valley High School played for the 1A/2A team, while Dallin Rasmussen and Seni Latu from Manti High School, and Cesar Lemus, Ethan Bowles, Josh Lee, Brock Justesen, Mcade Poulson, Alan Oldroyd and Dustin Ashworth from North Sanpete High School played for the 3A team.
Coach Bird explained his coaching staff for the game knew they would have to bridge some divides between the players. “When we started, we want to build relationships with everyone. So we sat them down and told them, ‘Take down the walls they’ve built up with all the rivalry games we’ve had, and build new walls with the group of kids we have.’”
The teams gathered at the Snow College campus on Monday for the Wednesday game, and the coaches only had their teams for four practices. It made the time very intense for coaches and players. “We had only four practices to put in a whole new offense and defense,” said Bird. “It required a lot of attention and focus to detail. That’s what we got out of this group.”
Snow College Head Football Coach Andrew Mitchell was also on the scene, taking in the performance by the all-star
players. Mitchell admitted he was scouting a few players that he had been recruiting to play at Snow, including Summit Academy’s Kasey Briggs and Talmadge Brown, and Layton Christian’s Dustin Moffo. However, as he said, “There’s always some local guys that will find their way onto our roster.” In particular he singled out Latu from Manti and Oldroyd from North Sanpete as players that could make Snow’s team this fall.
Mitchell, while not making an official announcement, also said next season’s schedule, in which Snow College will play as an independent in football, is shaping up well. Mitchell is planning to play several games against teams in Iowa and Kansas, signaling Snow’s intent to eventually join the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.