After a decorated group of seniors helped lead the Grand County High School boys soccer team to a Region 15 crown and a No. 5 final ranking in 3A in 2019, the Red Devils have moved to a new region with a new coach, and will look for players to step up and build on last season when they begin play in a Region 12 match in Blanding at San Juan on Tuesday, March 3 at 4 p.m.
Last season, the Red Devils went undefeated in Region 15 play, 9-0-1, finishing 13-2-1 overall with a loss in the 3A quarterfinal. Joining them in moving from Region 15 to Region 12 are Emery, Richfield and South Sevier, while San Juan and Carbon replace Manti and North Sanpete as 2020 region foes.
The Red Devils graduated most of their offensive production from a year ago, as 35 of their 49 goals were scored by players who have since graduated, including 10 goals apiece from Nolan Ramirez and Kane Scherer. Other seniors from last year’s team were Bailey Shelton, Jose Taveres, Jaxen Saunders, Juan Gonzalez, Stacy Randall, Chance Arbon and Cameron Hoppensteadt. Current GCHS girls soccer coach Austin Marques will also coach the boys after former coach Christopher Beitner moved to Oregon, looking to build a crop of talented younger players to fill the void.
Other teams in Region 12 are looking to bounce back in 2020 as Carbon went 3-7-2 in Region 14, and 4-12-2 overall last season, and Emery (5-4-1, 7-7-1), Richfield (3-7, 5-9), and South Sevier (0-10, 0-13) occupied the bottom three spots in Region 15. San Juan went 0-5 last season in its return to boys soccer competition.
After another region road game at Carbon on Tuesday, March 10, at 4 p.m., the Red Devils’ first home match on the pitch will be against Waterford on Thursday, March 12, at 4 p.m.
After the boys soccer team officially kicks off the spring sports calendar for GCHS, the Grand County High School girls golf team is the next to begin play, competing at the Cove View Golf Course in Richfield on Thursday, March 5. The GCHS baseball team, under first-year coach Darrin Wells, plays a pair of road games that weekend, at Delta on Friday, March 6 at 3 p.m., and at Millard on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. The GCHS softball team starts play at home versus Richfield on Tuesday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Waiting longer than the rest of the sports to begin active competition, the GCHS boys tennis team begins play at a tournament in St. George on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21, and the track and field team hosts the Red Rock Invitational on Saturday, March 21, at 9 a.m.