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The faults with prep football

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I'll admit, I was kind of bored with the high school football season up until a couple of weeks ago.

Alta's 38-36 win over Jordan changed what were some growing weary feelings I was having about the sport. I can't really explain why I was feeling that way. Perhaps because I'm just getting old.

The Sandy City Showdown brought back my full enjoyment of high school football. It also made me wonder why I was losing my passion for it. While pondering those feelings, I came up with three ways Utah high school football can be improved.

1. The NFL has a salary cap, and the NCAA has scholarship limitations. Both seem to do a fine job of maintaining parity. To do so for Utah high school football, how about an out-of-boundary cap for high school sports teams?

Yeah, I know it would never fly. This is an open-enrollment state and people can go where they want and blah, blah, blah. But the competitive balance is currently completely out of whack. Some of the state's current top teams are basically all-star teams.

So in my plan, I would allow teams to have a total of five out-of-boundary players on their roster per year. It would be tough to enforce, and nearly impossible to legally defend, but it would be a great tool in balancing the state's talent.

2. Seed the playoff teams. Since I looked at the brackets before Juan Diego played Delta, I've felt sick that the winner of that game would most likely play Logan in the 3A quarterfinals. That's where we are now as Juan Diego hosts Logan in a game that should be reserved for Rice-Eccles Stadium, and probably for the title game.

We've seen this before: Alta-Bingham in the semis last year, Timpview-Cottonwood in the quarterfinals last year, and Bingham-Brighton in the 2005 quarterfinals. Those games wouldn't have taken place if some thought was put into setting the brackets, rather than just rotating which regions matched up with others on a yearly basis.

3. Muzzle fans who want to give advice to coaches from the bleachers.

It drives me absolutely nuts. I hear ridiculous things on a weekly basis. The one that really bothered me recently was at the Skyline-Jordan game. A fan walked near the Eagles' sideline, informed one of Skyline's coordinators he needed to go back to where he came from, and then bravely left the stadium before anyone could get a good look at him.

So here's what I want: I want some security personnel to be assigned to each game. When fans say something about the coaching, I want the security people to hand the disgruntled fan a quiz on the nuances of football. If the person passes it, he or she can stay at the game and be given a lesson on fan support. If he or she is wrong, the person will be forced to wear a muzzle for the rest of the game.

It would be embarrassing, but not nearly as embarrassing as some of the comments I hear during games.

E-mail: aaragon@desnews.com