Without a doubt, Region 2 is the strongest region, not only in Class 5A, but in the state.
Bingham, Brighton, Alta, West Jordan and Jordan are always good, and the same is expected this year. Hillcrest and Riverton will be better than they were last year, and Copper Hills was really hit by graduation.
Five of the eight region coaches voted Brighton No. 1 in the region, while Bingham had three first-place votes and five seconds. Alta, Jordan and West Jordan were slated to finish third, fourth and fifth. Hillcrest, Riverton and Copper Hills round out the remainder of the region.
If Bingham wins the region it will do so because of its play on the road.
The Miners host Jordan, Brighton and Riverton, and have Alta, West Jordan and Jordan all on the road.
The Miners have seven defensive starters back, while Brighton returns six. They both will be stingy defensively, but Bingham garners the edge because of the strength of its five offensive returners. Brighton has only one offensive starter back.
Jeff Tait is back at quarterback for Dave Peck's Miners, while Tyler DeBry (also a defensive end), Zack Roberts and Jake Naylor make up the running backs. Dusty Stoker returns at wide receiver.
Alta finished 8-3 and went to the semifinals with a team that was kept together by Band-Aids and bailing wire, and they have four returning offensive starters, led by David Anger and Brock Hansen.
Barring injury, the Hawks could be a contender. Jordan has six returning starters on offense, led by quarterback Trevor Moss, tight end Brandon Birch and lineman Scott Yost.
West Jordan finished 7-3 in 2000 and has eight starters back. Running back Shad Bateman, defensive back Clarence Singleton and Tristan White could replace the graduated Jack Roberts at quarterback.
Hillcrest coach Bruce Takeno has the Huskies headed in the right direction, and quarterback Brad Leggat, who was injured for most of 2000, is back. Riverton coach Rick Bojak has his first class of true seniors with Brian Brooks and Todd Jensen. Copper Hills lost too many key players to make an impact, but it could surprise a couple of teams with all-Region performers Kaylen Olsen and Daniel Watts.
KEY DATES: Sept. 21 — Alta at Brighton; Sept. 26 — Brighton at Bingham; Hillcrest at Jordan; Copper Hills at Riverton; Oct. 4 — Bingham at Alta; Oct. 12 — Bingham at West Jordan; Brighton at Jordan.
Region 2 polls
Coaches' picks News' picks
1. Brighton 1. Bingham
2. Bingham 2. Brighton
3. Alta 3. Alta
4. Jordan 4. W. Jordan
5. W. Jordan 5. Jordan
6. Riverton 6. Hillcrest
7. Hillcrest 7. Riverton
8. Copper Hills 8. Copper Hills
State RankingsCoaches' picks News' picks
1. Northridge 1. Bingham
2. Skyline 2. Brighton
3. Brighton 3. Northridge
4. Bingham 4. Skyline
5. Hunter 5. Viewmont