A year after all spring sports were wiped out because of COVID-19, thousands of athletes are anxious to give it ago in 2021 as high school spring sports officially get under way this week across the state.
Monday is the first day games, and tournaments are allowed in baseball, softball, boys soccer, boys tennis, girls golf, lacrosse and track and field.
The boys soccer season begins with Westlake (6A), Brighton (5A), Dixie (4A), Judge Memorial (3A) and Layton Christian (2A) all ranked No. 1 in their respective classifications in the Deseret News soccer preseason coaches rankings.
Weber, Brighton, Judge Memorial and Layton Christian are all defending state champions from 2019. Sky View won the 2019 title in 4A and begins the year ranked No. 2.
The baseball season begins with American Fork (6A), Salem Hills (5A), Desert Hills (4A), Grantsville (3A) Beaver Kanab (2A) beginning the year ranked No. 1 in their respective classifications in the Deseret News baseball preseason coaches rankings.
Desert Hills is the only defending champ, as it won the 4A title in 2019.
In softball, Herriman (6A), Spanish Fork (5A), Tooele (4A), Grantsville (3A) and Gunnison Valley (2A) begin the season ranked No. 1 in the Deseret News softball preseason coaches rankings.
Only Herriman, Tooele and Grantsville are defending state champs.
For boys and girls lacrosse, last season was supposed to be the first as a sanctioned UHSAA program, but COVID-19 hit the pause on that debut.
Lacrosse’s state tournaments will deviate from all the other sports in Utah as they won’t be classification specific, even though teams from 6A, 5A and 4A are participating and will also have traditional region schedules.
At the end of the regular season, the top 16 teams in the RPI rankings will participate in the Division A playoffs, the next 16 in the Division B playoffs and the remaining 26 in the Division C playoffs.
Because of that, the Deseret News weekly rankings will feature statewide top 5 rankings, and Corner Canyon gets the early nod from the coaches in the Deseret News boys lacrosse preseason rankings and Park City is the early favorite in the Deseret News girls lacrosse preseason rankings.