SMITHFIELD — Sky View football coach Craig Anhder didn't know exactly what to think when he learned his program had been bumped up to 5A competition during the offseason. But now, after seeing how his team responded in an impressive week one debut, the sense is that the Bobcats might do just fine competing in the state's highest prep classification.

Sky View traveled south to take on Riverton, a team considered to be one of 5A's toughest teams most seasons and came away with an impressive 31-15 win. During the game the Bobcats had some typical mistakes incurred by most teams during the first week of the season but overall looked like a solid team that belongs playing against top 5A competition.

"We were able to start strong and then sort of hold them off," Anhder said of his team's debut. "We had some mistakes, sure, but I think it was a good start for us and I was pleased with the effort."

According to Anhder, the type of effort he saw in Friday's win was typical of what his players have shown since learning they'd be assigned to a realigned Region 1, a region that houses top teams like Mountain Crest, Fremont and Roy.

"I think us going into Region 1 and 5A has been a good motivating factor for them," Andher said. "We feel we've made some good progress up here and now is our chance to really take a big step competing in 5A. That's how guys are approaching it and it's been a positive thing so far."

Of course, it helps out a team's cause when it's blessed with a good amount of returning talent. On Friday, several of those returning starters led the way, particularly starting quarterback Garrison Beach, who threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns. Beach's favorite target on the night was Bryce Mortenson, who had eight receptions for 153 yards and a touchdown.

"We like to throw it a lot and it's great when you return your quarterback and your top four receivers from last year," Anhder said. "We'll rely on those guys a lot this year. Having guys like that helps bring over a lot of continuity from last year and I believe helped us be more calm starting out as a 5A team against a very tough team like Riverton."

The Bobcats will next take on Logan, followed by a game with Highland before entering Region 1 competition. Both the Grizzlies and Rams should provide good tests, which is why Anhder scheduled them.

"We're not going to shy away from playing any tough teams and we believe playing the tough teams we will have played before going into region play will help prepare us," Anhder said. "We'll play anybody anywhere. That's our attitude and I think you need that if you're seriously going to compete against the best."

Although pleased with his team's start, Anhder understands there's still a lot to prove.

"It's just the start and we still haven't proven a thing yet," he said. "I mean, we haven't won even one region game, we haven't competed in any playoff games or even made the playoffs in 5A yet. So we still have a lot to prove and a lot to improve on before we can even say we've proven anything...but I like the start."


Twitter: @BrandonCGurney