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High school notes: New Taylorsville coach will miss Granger’s players

SHARE High school notes: New Taylorsville coach will miss Granger’s players

Jonny Matich doesn't like the idea of leaving what he's been building at Granger for the last two years.

But the English teacher liked the idea of trying to compete in 5A even less.

"I had done so much at Granger, it was hard to leave," said Matich of his decision to take the head football coaching job at Taylorsville. "The state moving Granger to 5A was a big part of the reason. They are doing such a wrong thing bumping Granger up to 5A. They are not a 5A school."

Matich also said having teachers on staff at the school who also assisted in the football program was another reason for the move.

"At Granger I didn't have any coaches in the building," he said. "I had to do everything myself. At Taylorsville there are about six coaches in the building. It will be nice to have some help."

Matich, who was an assistant at Taylorsville for a year before taking Granger's head coaching job, said he struggled most with leaving his players behind.

"It's tough," he said. "I love the kids at Granger. They don't understand I'm leaving for support services. I have a feeling they blame themselves. But I really love those kids. It's always tough to leave."

Ultimately, having other teachers to help him with his players was a key factor, as was the fact that Taylorsville has more than 2,000 students and Granger has hundreds less, especially if one factors in those students who don't attend classes.

Matich knows he's not taking on an easy task in turning around a Warrior program that hasn't won more than one or two games for several years. This season Taylorsville won only one game.

"It won't be easy, but ultimately it came down to support," he said. "I have my work cut out for me. But it is a better move for me."

MTN. VIEW IS BACK: It's been several years since the Bruins were a factor in girls basketball, but under first-year head coach Andrew Blanchard the team is making some noise.

"The team was 12-10 last year, and that's a pretty successful season," he said. "So I didn't have to build it all the way up from the ground. They've never gone through really bad times."

But for 15 years, the Bruins were always in the mix of top teams, if not the favorites. Mtn. View won the 4A or 5A title 11 of 14 years, and even earned a National Championship.

Their dominance ended in 2005 with the departure of coach Dave Houle and the graduation of the program's top players. And while the expectations from the rest of the basketball world might have changed for Mtn. View, the players in the program have always felt they were capable of bigger and better things.

"We have six girls that have had varsity experience, and eight seniors," said Blanchard, who was formerly an assistant boys basketball coach at West Jordan. "They're all pretty good leaders, and the other girls voted three of them captains."

The senior captains are center Christina Augustin, point guard Aja Domingo and guard Megan Goodman. Arjie Lines, a senior shooting guard, and Ashley Williams, a backup point guard, are two others who are contributing signficantly to the team's success.

"I had some high expectations of myself, of the players," he said. "And so does the administration."

He is well-aware of the program's storied — and decorated — past, and acknowledges the job comes with some pressure.

"It's positive pressure," he said. "We're just trying to do our best."

Despite no head coaching experience, he said he had no reservations about applying for the job.

"I didn't think I would get it," he said. "It's a big change from boys to girls ... I think it's made me a better coach."

This year that is a 5-0 start with some impressive wins over Morgan, Spanish Fork and Brighton. The Bruins have two tough games this week against Skyline and Jordan, both 5A schools.

"This group has been playing together since they were sophomores, so they are ready," he said. "I have brought some changes ... But they were eager for those changes."

Blanchard said the team's start is especially important as they try to figure out their new roles.

"I'd be lying if I said the winning wasn't important," he said. "For me to be 5-0 right now, it's very satisfying. I think the sky is the limit."

E-mail: adonaldson@desnews.com