Recent Grand County High School graduates Ronnie Dolphin and Josh Harris took to the gridiron one final time representing the Red Devils as players in the Utah high school football all-star game, which saw the best senior players from the 1A, 2A, 3A and 3AA south divisions square off against their northern counterparts. Dolphin and Harris played on the south team, which defeated the north team 24-13.
Seniors who earned first-team all-state recognition in either The Salt Lake Tribune or the Deseret News were the first ones invited to play, then second-teamers and honorable mentions were called upon based on position needs for each roster. Dolphin earned first-team recognition from the Tribune and second-team honors from the Deseret News. Harris earned honorable mention from the Deseret News and was called upon by the south team to mitigate a shortage in linemen; including Harris, the south team only dressed six linemen.
Dolphin, who played middle linebacker on defense and split time between quarterback and running back on offense during the 2014 season, played wide receiver and cornerback at the all-star game. It was the first time he played those positions during his football career, said his father Ron Dolphin, who is also Grand County High School’s athletic director and an assistant football coach.
The San Juan Broncos had three representatives at the all-star game in Trason Jack, Brittain Bowring and Easton Lee, while the Monticello Buckaroos had Cole Eldredge, giving southeastern Utah a six-player contingent.
The north team had 32 players who came from schools that had more successful 2014 seasons than their southern foes, Ron Dolphin said. The south roster had only 23 players and was outmanned and undersized, he said.
Despite the disparity and the size and number of players, the south was able to pull out the victory with notable contributions from both Harris and Ronnie Dolphin, Ron Dolphin said. In the waning moments of the game with the south nursing a 21-13 lead, the north was threatening to score and faced a fourth-down-and-5 play deep in south territory when Ronnie Dolphin read the sweep play from his corner position, got off his coverage and tackled the ball-carrier, forcing a fumble which led to a south field goal for the game’s final score.
“Ronnie made some big plays on defense and also did a great job as the field goal holder,” Ron Dolphin said. “I don’t think he got a good snap the whole game, but he got ’em all down.”
Harris played on both the offensive and defensive lines, earning a quarterback sack.
“For being out of shape and with how hot it was, he played an amazing game on both sides of the ball,” Ron Dolphin said.
Ron Dolphin said the win in what could have been their final competitive football game was gratifying, especially after the team faltered to just two wins in an injury-riddled 2014 season.
“It was tremendous for those two to get another chance to go out and play football, and even bigger they got to go out with a win,” Ron Dolphin said. “After we left the game, those two were still smiling and laughing two hours later.”
South team beats North team 24-13
“It was tremendous for those two to get another chance to go out and play football, and even bigger they got to go out with a win. After we left the game, those two were still smiling and laughing two hours later.”