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UVSC gets commitment from Cottle

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Wasatch basketball star Josh Cottle verbally committed to Utah Valley State College earlier this week. After years participating as a junior college, UVSC is officially competing as a Division I basketball program beginning this fall.

Cottle, last year's 3A MVP, could be one of the key ingredients in helping UVSC gain respectability in its new endeavor.

A 6-foot guard, Cottle led Wasatch to its first state championship since 1944 last year by averaging 16 points per game in the tournament.

"He could've easily scored 20 to 25 points a game throughout the year," said Wasatch coach Lonnie Magnusson after last year's season.

With Cottle back for his senior season, the Wasps are one of the favorites in Class 3A again.

PARK CITY NEEDS COACH: Park City baseball coach Matt Strader is retiring after 10 seasons with the Miners. He spent the last five seasons as Park City's head coach, a span in which his teams amassed a 66-41 record, and a 37-14 mark in Region 10.

Strader's coaching highlights included back-to-back region titles in 2000 and 2001, and a fifth-place finish in the 3A state tournament in 2001.

Interested applicants should contact Park City High School at 435-645-5650.

TREADING NEW WATER: By virtue of beating Brighton 19-7 last week and improving to 3-0, Clearfield's football team is off to its best start in the 43-year history of the school.

The third-ranked Falcons are getting it done with defense.

In its first three games, Clearfield surrendered zero points to Jordan, 14 to Riverton and seven to Brighton. If the Falcons keep up that trend, they could be 8-0 heading into their season finale with Northridge on Oct. 24.

Prior to this year, Clearfield had started 2-0 eight times, but never 3-0.

At 3-0, Hunter, Hillcrest and Juan Diego are also enjoying their best starts since 1998.

SINKING QUICKLY: Lone Peak is in danger of losing its fourth straight game Friday when it travels to Hunter — 5A's second-ranked team.

Lone Peak's previous worst start was 0-3 in 1997, the school's first season.

Defending 1A champion Rich, which entered the season on a 13-game winning streak, is heading in the opposite direction. At 0-2, the Rebels are off to their worst start since 1990. The school's worst start every was 0-4 in 1986.

PICKS ON THE WEB: Try your hand at picking the winners of 12 prep football games each week in the Deseret Morning News Grid Picks. Last week's winner was Jeremy Taylor of Midvale, who won $50. He was the only entrant out of 610 to pick all 12 games correctly. If you're feeling lucky this week, submit your predictions through the Prep Sports page at deseretnews.com/preps.

PREPS ON THE WEB: Can't wait for the nightly scores? Log on to www.deseretnews.com/preps to see the scores as soon as the Deseret Morning News receives the information from the coaches. While there, check out your favorite high school's own Web page complete with the state's most comprehensive standings, schedules, results and leaders.

E-MAIL: jedward@desnews.com