October 10, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer The Box Elder High School volleyball team cruised to two easy wins last week, both in straight sets, over Roy and Viewmont to keep their stranglehold on the top spot in Region 5, as well as their number one ranking in 5A by the Deseret News. With two road matches last week, the Bees were looking to prove their mettle in hostile environments and showed both their physical and mental toughness as they dominated matches on their opponents’ courts. Against the Royals last Tuesday, the Bees were firing on all cylinders early both offensively and defensively. Roy struggled to score points, let alone make any kind of run against the heavily favored Bees. In the end, the Box Elder left the Royals no chance to find their first region win of the season as the Bees coasted to wins of 25-10, 25-6, 25-8. The Bees’ serving was especially tough and kept the Royals guessing all night. The team ended up with 12 aces in the match, lead by Sarah Reeder, who served up four. Senior outside hitter Emily Isaacson lead all players with 11 kills on the offensive end. Tiffany Horton helped keep things tough at the net for the Bees and lead the team with four blocks on the night. On Thursday night, the Bees found a little more resistance when they travelled to Viewmont, but still managed a similar result as the team took the match 25-13, 25-16, 25-15. The Bees again were able to jump out to early leads in each set and never looked back as they continued their journey to a region championship, which has eluded the team for the past eight years. Isaacson again lead the way with 10 kills while Annie Mecham came up with four aces from the service line in the win. Reeder lead the Bees frontline blocking effort with six blocks on the night. The wins keep the Bees a perfect 6-0 in Region 5 with just four matches left in the regular season. Last night, the Bees were back in action against Farmington (results not available by press time). The Phoenix entered the match with a 2-4 region record and were clinging to the fourth seed in Region 5. Tomorrow night, the Bees will be at home again to take on Woods Cross. The Bees dealt the Wildcats their first Region 5 loss last month. Since then, the Wildcats also fell to Bountiful in five sets to sit at 4-2. The game against the Wildcats is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Girls get third seed into state tourney
Grace Oki (left) and Molly Robb (right), who returned to the pitch after suffering a broken collar bone earlier this season, celebrate after Robb scored a first half goal en route to a 2-1 win over Roy last week. In a game that was fairly even and saw both teams making forays into their attacking zone and generating opportunities, Robb made the most of a shot from a difficult angle on the wing, curling the ball perfectly just inside the far post. Oki scored the Bees’ second goal of the game, in the second half, to secure the win. Box Elder finished the season tied with Roy for second place in the region, both with 18 points, but the Bees had to settle for the third seed in the state tournament. The Bees faced Skyridge, the No. 2 seed from Region 8, in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday (results not available by press time).Girls get third seed into state tourney
Bees remain undefeated in region, maintain top 5A ranking
Sophomore Gracie Gunderson (#33) and senior Jaida Burt put up a block in the Bees’ game against Bountiful last week. Gunderson, who stepped in for an injured Bekah Bennett, led the Bees with six blocks in the game. Burt helped the Bees earlier in the week with nine kills in a win over Woods Cross.
October 3, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer The Box Elder High School volleyball team sent a loud and clear message last week that they are the team to beat in Region 5, and solidified their number one ranking in 5A when they took down Woods Cross in four games last Tuesday, Sept. 25, before sweeping Bountiful on Thursday. Bees’ head coach Kristine Harding attributed their success to plenty of experience in facing adversity. “Our girls have a lot of past experiences on the court and that helped a lot this week. We’re in constant conversation to tell the girls to play solid, not to drop down our momentum and not to drop down our energy,” Harding said. On Tuesday night, the Bees were looking for revenge against the Wildcats, who handed the Bees a loss at the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic a few weeks ago. That energy might have worked against the Bees in the opening minutes of the first game as the Wildcats jumped to an early lead that they turned into a win, 25-20. After the match, coach Harding said that the girls were a little stiff and too focused to play really well in the beginning. “[The Wildcats] are a tough battle because they beat us at the tournament,” Harding said. “If you look at the mental game of it, they got us before. So, on our part, in game one, we made a lot of errors. We hit a lot of balls out of bounds and that was emotionally kind of a downer.” Harding said that her team started to turn things around in the first game, and even though it was too late to steal a win, that momentum carried through the remaining games on their way to the win. “Our girls regrouped quickly. Halfway through game one, we closed the gap and just ran out of time,” Harding said. “Then we came out solid in the second game and were solid the rest of the way.” The Bees were very solid in taking the next three games, and handed the Wildcats their first region loss of the season, 25-13, 25-15, 25-12. Senior outside hitter Emily Isaacson lead the way with 15 kills on the night while fellow senior middle blocker Jaida Burt chipped in nine. Sarah Reeder and Tiffany Hortin plugged up the middle for the Bees defensively and each recorded five blocks in the win. On Thursday, the Bees had their first rematch with the Braves since winning a five-set thriller last November for the 5A state championship. This time around, the Bees took the drama out of the game early as they built big leads in each game, with the Braves unable to come up with an answer. Isaacson again lead the offensive attack with 14 kills on the night and Annie Mecham added eight in the win. Six-foot tall sophomore, Gracie Gunderson, stepped in for an injured Bekah Bennett, who was out with a concussion, and lead the team with six blocks on the night to keep the Braves frustrated at the net. In the end, the Bees simply overwhelmed their guests and took the match 25-17, 25-14, 25-12. The wins move the Bees to 4-0 in region play and 14-2 overall on the season. Yesterday, the Bees headed south to take on Roy, who entered the match at the bottom of the region at 0-3 (results not available by press time). Tomorrow, the Bees will be on the road again to take on Viewmont. The match against the Vikings is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Bees extend win streak to four, take possession of top spot in Region 5
Connor Stevenson advances the ball after pulling in one of his two receptions against Farmington. Stevenson had the most explosive play of the game for the Bees when he ran 32 yards on the first offensive play to help set up the Bees’ first touchdown.
October 3, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer The Box Elder High School football team ran their current winning streak to four straight games last Friday night on the road as they bested Farmington, 17-7. After three consecutive weeks of last-minute heroics, including two overtime thrillers, the Bees were able to take care of business in regulation against the Phoenix behind two rushing touchdowns by Bernard Pena and a big effort on the defensive side of the ball. Box Elder head coach Robbie Gunter called the game, “a tough situation” as the Phoenix came into the game on an emotional high and with renewed confidence after earning their first win of the season, against Woods Cross, the week before. “On film, [the Phoenix] looked like a good team and then, in person, we saw that they are good team,” Gunter said. “We definitely made some mistakes that we want to clean up, but our guys played hard as well. Every region win is a big win, so we’re happy with this one.” The most glaring mistakes from the Bees were 10 penalties for 95 yards and three turnovers that kept the Phoenix in the game. The Bees’ defense negated much of that damage with four takeaways and several big stops that kept the Phoenix chasing for much of the game. Box Elder’s defense set the tempo early on when junior defensive back Bentley Miles came up with his first interception of the season to squash the opening drive of the game. Five plays later, Pena ran in from 12 yards out for his first score to give the Bees an early advantage. On the ensuing drive, the Bees looked to have stopped the home team on fourth down, but a roughing the passer penalty kept the drive alive and set up a first and goal. Three plays later, Phoenix quarterback Wyatt Evertsen dove in from a yard out to tie the game. The Bees started the second quarter the same as the first, with Skyler Laurenti picking off the first pass of the period to keep the game tied. The Bees had a chance to take the lead heading into the halftime break, but quarterback Parker Buchanan took a hit in the backfield and fumbled the ball with just over a minute remaining in the second quarter. Brayden Wilson jumped on the loose ball for the Phoenix to keep the game tied. The Bees took the lead on the opening drive of the second half when Keaton Lamb connected on a 35-yard field goal to go up 10-7. The defensive struggle continued for the remainder of the game until the Bees finally put it away with a two-yard touchdown run by Pena with just over a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. Pena finished with another monster stat line with 152 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns. The win moves the Bees to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in region play while the Phoenix fall to 1-6 and 1-2 in the region. This Friday night, the Bees will be on the road again to square off against preseason region favorite in Roy. The Royals sit at 2-1 in Region 5 after losing last week to Viewmont. The game against the Royals is set to kick off at 7 p.m.
A game to remember
Bees break two-year homecoming slump with 3OT victory, 36-34, against Viewmont September 26, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer What started as a defensive struggle ended up as an old-fashioned shootout for the Box Elder High School football team as they topped Viewmont 36-34 in triple overtime for a homecoming win fans will remember for years to come. It was the Bees’ first homecoming win since a 2015 rout of Ogden. While receiving congratulatory high-fives and hugs from friends and family, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said, “I guess we decided to make the 2018 homecoming a little longer and more memorable.” Gunter went on to praise his defense for giving the team a chance to get to overtime and then ultimately setting up a chance for the win at the end. “In the first half, our offense did not take advantage of the great field position our defense and special teams were giving us. But hats off to the defense. They just stood up and stood up so many times. Then just to earn the two points to give us a chance to win at the end, that is so huge.” Despite allowing Viewmont to post 259 yards through the air—out of 382 total yards—the Bees came up with three interceptions to end Viking drives. Box Elder also recorded five tackles for loss, including two sacks. Perhaps most importantly, the defense stopped Viewmont’s two-point conversion in the third overtime to give the Bees a chance to win. Box Elder’s Bernard Pena capitalized on that opportunity when he took the Bees’ first play of the third overtime 25 yards for a touchdown, then followed it up with a successful two-point conversion run. Pena was far and away the Bees’ star in the game, posting 196 of his team’s 313 rushing yards, as well as being the team’s leading defensive player with eight tackles, including two for loss. After the game, Pena was quick to give a lot of the credit for his success to the offensive line. He said, “It feels amazing right now. I just have to give everything to my o-line. Without them, I wouldn’t be anything. They were amazing tonight.” Pena added that he is willing to work as hard as everyone else, which is how he was able to post the numbers he did. “My mentality is just to give 110 percent every play. In my mind, I just say, ‘Kill it this play, Bernard. It’s your game, it’s your play, let’s go!’ That’s my mentality every game,” Pena said. The game started out as well as it could for the Bees as they took the opening drive 50 yards in 11 plays and capped it off on a one-yard dive from quarterback Parker Buchanan to take the lead 7-0. From there, however, the game became a battle of defense, field position and miscues from both teams. The Vikings had a chance to tie up the score just before the half as they drove deep into Bees territory, but junior defensive back Nate Wheatley picked off a pass in the end zone to kill the threat. Viewmont tied the game on the opening possession of the third quarter as they capped a 14-play drive with their own quarterback keeper from a yard out. A penalty-ridden third quarter finally did see the Vikings take the lead when quarterback Dutcher Lines found Noah Montoya from 18 yards out for the score. Lines completed 28-of-54 passes for 259 yards with one touchdown. The lead was short-lived for the Vikings as Trent Dickson found the corner on a sweep on the second play of the ensuing drive and took it the distance, going 77 yards for the touchdown. Dickson finished with 113 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. With neither team willing to give an inch down the stretch, the Vikings looked to have the best chance to win it in regulation when they set up for a field goal with just over five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. But the special teams from the Bees came up with a huge play and blocked the kick to keep the game tied going down the stretch. The Vikings looked to have one last chance to steal the game in regulation, but another interception, this time from junior linebacker Logan Holgate, squashed the effort and sent the Bees into an overtime game for the second straight week. Both sides leaned on their stars during the overtime periods. For the Vikings, Lines took over with his legs instead of his arm and ran in three touchdowns to extend the game. Lines finished the game as the team’s leading rusher with 80 yards on 15 carries and four touchdowns. In the first overtime, following a Lines touchdown run, the Bees’ offense had their backs against the wall with a 4th-and-11 from the 14-yard line. With the game on the line, Buchanan found senior tight end Braxton Moser in the flat and he rumbled into the corner of the end zone to force the second overtime. The Bees then turned to senior workhorse Bernard Pena to take them to victory. Pena plowed in from a yard out in the second overtime to give the Bees a 28-21 lead. Lines answered with his second and third touchdown runs to tie the game and then put the Vikings back on top. In the third overtime, each team must attempt a two-point conversion and the Bees were able to come up with the crucial stop as a shovel pass from Lines fell incomplete. The win vaults the Bees to 2-0 in region play while the loss drops the Vikings to 1-1. This Friday, the Bees hit the road to take on first-year school, Farmington. The Phoenix sit at 1-1 in region play and are coming off their first win of the season last week over Woods Cross. The game against the Phoenix is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
Box Elder head coach Robbie Gunter celebrates with running back Bernard Pena following the Bees’ overtime victory against Bountiful last Friday.
Bees top Braves in overtime
September 19, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer The Box Elder High School football team opened up region play in dramatic fashion as they edged Bountiful, 21-20, in double overtime last Friday. “We made a lot of mistakes, but just kept going and tonight is a true team win,” said Gunter. “Our theme this week was mental toughness. We talked about being like rubber, to adjust and be resilient.” The Bees needed all of that mental toughness, resilience, and a little luck to get past the Braves as the kicking game proved to be the difference down the stretch. The Bees opened the game with a clinical drive, establishing the run early, before opening up the passing game with quarterback Parker Buchanan connecting with Mike Davis for a 34 yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. But the night proved to be tougher sledding the rest of the way for the Bees’ offense, particularly through the air, as Buchanan finished completing 6-of-14 passes for 66 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bees threatened again inside the red zone in the second quarter after a long run by tailback Trent Dickson, but the first of two interceptions by the Braves’ defense squashed the drive and helped get them back on track. Six plays later, Zach Riordan hit Brig Willard for a six-yard score and tied the game. Riordan finished the game completing 14-of-18 passes for 110 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game in the third quarter with a knee injury and wasn’t able to return. The game stayed deadlocked until the fourth quarter when Buchanan showed off his legs instead of his arm and broke free for a 36-yard touchdown run off a bootleg to give the Bees the lead with just over six minutes remaining in regulation. But the Braves responded as Willard, filling in for the injured Riordan, found Hudson Gallagher from 22 yards out for the score. Willard finished completing 8-of-13 passes for 103 yards and one touchdown. While things were tough through the air for the Bees, they did find success in the ground game as 252 of their 318 yards of total offense came on the ground. In the overtime period, after a couple of short runs, the Bees had the first chance at taking the lead, but a 36-yard field goal by Keaton Lamb was pushed wide and opened the door for the home team to grab the win. Defense has been big for the Bees all season and they came up with another big play to keep the game alive as an errant snap was fumbled by the Braves on their second play. Senior linebacker Bernard Pena emerged from the pile with the football to force a second attempt for each team. In the second overtime, the Braves got the ball first and turned it into a touchdown, capped off by a one-yard dive by Willard. But Bountiful place kicker Micah Petitt wasn’t able to keep the ball between the uprights and left the Bees a chance to win. Box Elder seized that chance on the legs of Pena, who got the ball four straight times and finished the drive with a 14-yard run to tie the game. Lamb was able to kick home the winning point, and the celebration ensued. The win moves the Bees to 1-0 in region play and 4-1 overall while the loss drops the Braves to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Region 5. This week, the Bees will be back at home to take on Viewmont, who blew out new high school Farmington 42-12 last week. The game against the Vikings is scheduled to kickoff at 7 p.m. In the other Region 5 game last week, Roy cruised to a 58-28 win over Woods Cross.
Soccer team notches win over Bountiful
The Box Elder High School girls’ soccer team extended a winning streak to three games last week with a dominant second-half performance against Bountiful to claim a 5-1 victory. The Bees and Braves were tied at the half, but a few adjustments made during intermission unleashed Box Elder’s offense and strengthened their defense as the Bees scored four goals and held the Braves scoreless. Hailey Jarman led the Bees with a pair of goals, and Pricilla Ramos and Saige Jensen each had one. At the halfway point in region play, the competition is tight from top to bottom. Viewmont is in first with a 4-1 record (12 points), Roy and Box Elder are tied for second at 3-2 (nine points), Bountiful and Woods Cross will be looking to secure the fourth spot with both of them tied at 2-3 (six points), and Farmington is not far behind them at 1-4 (three points). The Bees played at Viewmont on Tuesday (results not available by press time) to begin the second half of region play, and will host Woods Cross on Thursday. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Bees have big finish against Wolves
Teammates celebrate the 71-yard touchdown reception by Nate Wheatley (#21) that put the Bees up by four with more than a minute left on the clock. (inset) Nate Wheatley checks for pursuers as he streaks to the game-winning score against Green Canyon.
Offense, defense comes up big in final minutes to claim win over Green Canyon September 12, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer For a team that wanted to focus more on running the ball this season, the Box Elder High School football team made the most of their chances through the air last Friday night as they bested Green Canyon 31-27 in North Logan. Both teams traded blows until the final whistle, amassing nearly 400 yards of total offense each, until a defensive stand by the Bees inside the red zone on fourth down finally clinched them the victory. “That was an exciting finish. I don’t think we’ve been that excited after a game for a long time,” said Box Elder head coach Robbie Gunter. “But the kids fought hard, on both teams, and it was a fun one to be a part of.” Coach Gunter went on to say, “We played well on offense tonight. This was a different game for us because, in our last games, our defense was shutting people out. [The Wolves] got after us a little tonight, but we made some big plays on offense, so that was great to see.” The Bees needed every one of those big plays to grab the win over the spread attack from the Wolves that gave Box Elder’s defense all they could handle. The Wolves struck first on their opening drive following a long kickoff return when quarterback Joe Dygert hit wideout McKay Yorgason for a five yard score. The Bees responded with a 30-yard field goal from Keaton Lamb on their opening series to cut the lead to 7-3. The Wolves then stretched the lead to double-digits when Dygert again hooked up with Yorgason, this time for a 39-yard touchdown. Yorgason was Dygert’s favorite target all night and finished the game with 12 catches for 184 yards and two touchdowns. Later in the second quarter, the Bees cut into the lead when senior tailback Mike Davis ripped off a long run to get the Bees in scoring position. Five plays later, Trent Dickson plowed in from a yard out for the Bees’ lone rushing touchdown of the evening. Dickson finished the game with 38 yards on 14 carries with one touchdown. But with just over two minutes left on the clock before halftime, the Wolves were looking for more and added a 27-yard field goal at the buzzer to push their lead to 17-10 at the break. The Bees showed off their own passing attack to open the second half as quarterback Parker Buchanan found Conner Stevenson open behind the defense for a 29-yard touchdown to tie the game. Following that touchdown, the Bees looked to grab all the momentum when Kadyn Anderson picked off an errant pass from Dygert in the end zone, but a roughing the passer penalty gave the ball back to Wolves, who scored on their next play when Dygert found Kasen Holbrook for the score. Not to be outdone, the Bees went back to the air and Stevenson again found a way to get behind all the defenders and Buchanan hit him for a 52-yard touchdown to knot the score at 24 with 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stevenson lead all Bees receivers with 116 yards on four catches with two touchdowns. Both defenses cranked up the intensity coming down the stretch as both teams sought the win. A failed fourth down conversion from the Bees set the Wolves up with excellent field position late. But the Bees’ defense stood tall and held Green Canyon to a 21-yard field goal that gave the Wolves a 27-24 lead with just 1:35 left on the clock. That proved more than enough time for the Bees as Buchanan hit a streaking Nate Wheatley for a 71-yard touchdown on their first play from scrimmage to take the lead. Buchanan finished the night completing 9-of-14 passes for 215 yards with three touchdowns and, just as importantly, no interceptions. The only downside about the score from the Bees is they left the Wolves enough time for one last gasp to pull off the win. With nearly surgical precision, Dygert completed pass after pass to guide the Wolves to the 20 yard line and a crack at the end zone with less than a minute remaining. But the Bees’ defense made four consecutive stops, including linebacker Bernard Pena’s pass break-up on fourth down to secure the win for the Bees. The win moves to the Bees to 3-1 on the season while the Wolves fall to 1-3. The game also finishes the preseason schedule for the Bees and they’ll begin region play this Friday on the road against Bountiful. The Braves come into the game at 2-2 on the year with wins over Hunter and Syracuse and losses to Davis and Granger. When asked about the Braves, coach Gunter said, “[The Braves] will look to spread us out, somewhat like [the Wolves] did, so we’ll need to be ready for that. On defense, they’re big and physical and we’ll need to get after them. Playing our style and our game will be key for us.” The game against the Braves is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Special teams’ struggles
Bees look good on paper, but punting miscues, inability to convert on key plays leads to loss against Mountain Crest
September 5, 2018 By Jeremy Jones Staff writer
The Box Elder High School football team suffered its first setback of their 2018 campaign last Friday night when they fell in a defensive struggle to Mountain Crest, 13-7, last Friday.
Coming into the game, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said he was interested to see how his team would handle different styles of play from their different preseason opponents. Of the Mustangs, Coach Gunter said, “[The Mustangs] are always a really physical team with good athletes. They like to get their guys in space, so we’ll need to be ready for that.”
Defensively, the Bees held Mountain Crest to just 152 yards of total offense (2.9 yards per play), while out-gaining their opponents with 226 yards (4.6 yards per play).
Special teams and an inability to execute on key downs proved to be the Achilles’ heel for the Bees as two mistakes on punts team set up both scores for the Mustangs, and struggles converting on third and fourth down stymied promising drives. The Bees were just 4-for-12 on third down attempts, and went 0-for-4 on fourth down tries.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock until the second quarter, when Box Elder’s Conner Stevenson punted the ball into the back of teammate Parker Buchanan, and the Mustangs were able to recover the ball on the Bees’ eight-yard line. Two plays later, Hunter Schroder plowed in from four yards out to give the visitors the lead 7-0.
The Bees got a big play of their own following a missed field goal by the Mustangs and just before the halftime whistle. On 1st-and-10 from the 33, Box Elder quarterback Parker Buchanan found a streaking Mike Davis, who sprinted his way to a 67-yard touchdown and a tie game heading into the break.
But the sledding was tough for the Bees the rest of the way on offense. Buchanan finished just 3-of-11 for 75 yards with the one touchdown and the Mustangs largely bottled up the Bees ground game.
Bernard Pena found the most success as he ripped off 94 yards on 15 carries while Nate Wheatley grabbed 37 yards on his four attempts.
Despite keeping the Bees off the scoreboard, the Mustang offense wasn’t able to capitalize much either. Quarterback Brady Hall finished completing just 4-of-17 passing attempts for 58 yards and Schroder finished as the Mustangs’ leading rusher with 42 yards on 12 carries.
It was Schroder who put the Mustangs on top for good after another special teams blunder from the Bees.
The home team was pinned deep on fourth down and a shanked punt by Buchanan gave the Mustangs great field position, which they were able to convert into the go ahead score as Schroder again muscled his way into the end zone, this time from five yards out, for the score. The point after try was missed, setting the final margin.
The loss drops the Bees to 2-1 in the preseason while the win moves the Mustangs to 2-1.
This week, the Bees will head north on their first road trip of the season to take on Green Canyon in North Logan.
The Wolves enter the contest with a 1-2 record with a win over Pine View in their season opener followed by losses to Bonneville and Viewmont.
Junior quarterback Joe Dygert will be the catalyst for the Wolves’ offense as he has racked up 508 yards passing through three games and has tossed seven touchdowns with just one interception.
Dygert’s favorite target so far has been sophomore wideout Jake Lundin, who has 15 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
While the Wolves like to play fast and air the ball out, the Bees offense is lead by the two-headed rushing attack of Pena, who has 182 yards and two touchdowns on the season, and Trent Dickson, who has 140 yards and two scores.
The game against the Wolves is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
Bees sweep Bear River, earn ‘educational’ three-set win over Skyline
September 5, 2018 • By Jeremy Jones | Staff writer
After the Box Elder High School volleyball team completed their third consecutive three-set sweep of the preseason, Bees’ head coach Kristine Harding said in a relieved tone, “I’m ready to go home. I’ve been nervous about this one for a while.”
The one she was worried about was the team’s match with Skyline last Thursday, which the Bees took 25-22, 25-20, 25-16.
Despite the straight-set victory, the Bees were pushed by the Eagles and discovered some areas for improvement.
The Eagles jumped on the Bees early in the first game and held an 18-15 advantage with the help of some unforced hitting errors by Box Elder Elder.
But the Bees regrouped and went on a big run to surge ahead and ultimately get the win.
That first game seemed to tip the momentum in the Bees’ favor and took a lot of wind out of the sails of the visitors.
Both the remaining games started close and then saw the Bees open up a lead midway through that they never gave up.
Coach Harding said that the win over the Eagles was just as much a mental hurdle for her team as any physical one on the court.
“Tonight, our girls were learners of the game. They were coachable and they stayed patient. [The Eagles] put up a massive block in the middle and forced us to change our offense a bit from what we usually do. But our girls responded to that so well and I’m really proud of our effort and execution tonight.”
Earlier in the week, the Bees also took on Bear River in a match where the Bears never looked to be playing at the same level as the defending 5A state champions.
The Bees jumped out to early leads in each set on their way to the match win 25-10, 25-9, 25-9.
Of the game against the Bears, Coach Harding said, “Truthfully, [the Bears] never really had the momentum in that one. It felt like the moment our girls walked into the gym, we were this demanding force of energy and [the Bears] could never get that momentum to get into a rhythm.”
The wins this week kept the Bees perfect so far in the preseason at 3-0 and will keep them ranked as the top team in the 5A classification by the Deseret News.
Tomorrow night, the Bees will be back in action when they host Sky View. The Bobcats enter the match with a 7-3 mark this season and come in ranked number two in the 4A classification statewide.
The match against the Bobcats is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
This weekend, the Bees will head to the Rocky Mountain Champions Classic tournament held in Lehi to square off against some of the best volleyball teams Utah and Idaho have to offer.
Soccer team drops first two region games, lose key player
After a highly successful preseason, where they went 3-1-2, the Box Elder High School girls’ soccer team got a rude welcome to Region 5 competition last week, falling to both Roy and Viewmont. The game against Roy featured a couple of potent offenses, with the Royals posting four goals. The biggest difference came down to the goal keepers, and Roy’s keeper won the day, making nine saves and only allowing one goal by the Bees to secure the 4-1 win for her team. “The score at Roy did not tell the story at all,” said coach Brett Harris. “If someone would have only seen the first half, and more importantly the first 15-20 minutes, they would have said that the score was absolutely recorded incorrectly.” The Bees did have some “terrible” defensive mistakes while defending set pieces, one of which resulted in an own goal. “The second goal we simply did not mark or keep track of them very well on a corner [kick] and they punished us again,” Harris said. “The girls became a bit frustrated and things didn’t go well for us after that.” To make matters worse, the Bees’ top offensive player, Molly Robb, left the game with a broken collar bone and will likely miss the rest of the season, according to Harris. Two days later, the Bees were engaged in a defensive battle against Viewmont, where the Vikings’ lone second-half goal was enough to secure the win, 1-0. Harris said the game against the Vikings was much better organized for the Bees, and that it was the epitome of a defensive game. It wasn’t until the waning minutes of the game that Viewmont was finally able to break through and score. “It was a great turn and she [Viewmont’s scorer] was able to squeeze it through an extremely narrow space. Unfortunately for us, the post helped guide it into the net,” Harris said. Harris added that Robb’s injury combined with a quick turnaround between games did not allow the team to readjust its lineup. The Bees played at Woods Cross on Tuesday (results not available by press time), where they will be looking to “generate more opportunities” than they did against Viewmont, Harris said. The Bees will host new-comer, Farmington, on Thursday. That game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m.
Bees bring home the Spike
With the entire Bear River defense behind him, Box Elder’s Connor Stevenson pulls in a pass that he converted into a second-half touchdown.
STORY UPDATED 8/30/2018 Summary of update:Includes correct information for the Bees' game against Mountain Crest on Friday, Aug. 31.
Box Elder’s offense breaks open first half lead, defense gets the ‘save’ in second half
August 29, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer After spending 364 days on the Bear River High School campus, the Golden Spike trophy made its way back to Box Elder High School after the Bees’ toppled the Bears, 29-7, last Friday in Brigham City. No matter what the teams look like on paper, rivalry games seem to bring out a little more from both sides and last week was no exception. Following the game, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said that although they try to downplay the importance of a rivalry game, the emotion that comes up is like nothing else in sports. “The thing about these rivalry games is that we don’t talk about it all week,” Gunter said. “I don’t want them talking, and as coaches, we preach focusing on us and getting better ourselves. But the thing about it is the feeling after the game. It’s either worse or it is so much better, and tonight, it’s awesome for us.” That awesome feeling didn’t come without some heartburn and adversity as the Bees coughed up the ball twice in their own territory during the second half, but their defense held strong and didn’t allow any points from those offensive mistakes. Box Elder opened up the scoring early in the first quarter when running back Trent Dickson gashed the Bears defense for 38 yards and a score. On the night, Dickson finished with 67 yards on 11 carries with the one touchdown. The Bears fumbled away their first possession and Logan Holgate recovered for the Bees to set up a one yard dive from Bernard Pena. Holgate later left the game with an injury and didn’t return, but he finished the game with four tackles—second best on the team—two of which were for losses. Pena’s work right down the middle of the defense proved effective in the game, as he eclipsed the century mark with 106 yards on 20 carries. The extra point was blocked to leave the score at 13-0 at the end of the first quarter. Keaton Lamb added a 26-yard field goal to push the lead to 16-0 before the Bears fired back just before the halftime break. Bears’ quarterback Bradey Brown connected twice with running back Braxton Jeppsen by moving the pocket one way, then throwing back across the field to an open Jeppsen out of the backfield. The first completion went for 43 yards and the second went another 13 yards and a touchdown. Those two completions were the biggest of the night for the Bears as Brown finished completing 10 of 27 passes for 122 yards with one touchdown and one interception. The Bees regained the momentum early in the third quarter when sophomore quarterback Parker Buchanan found Conner Stevenson behind the entire defense for a 27-yard touchdown pass. Stevenson led all receivers in the game with three catches for 65 yards and one touchdown. Buchanan finished an efficient night, completing 8 of 13 passes for 108 yards and one touchdown. But the going got a little tough for the Bees in the fourth quarter as two straight possessions ended early from Buchanan fumbles that were recovered by the Bears. Both times, the visitors started their drive inside the 50-yard line, but neither drive resulted in any points as the Bees’ defense forced turnovers on downs each time. Gunter praised his team’s defensive effort. “We’ve got to clean up some of those offensive mistakes, but man, I can’t say enough about our defense. Those kids played so hard tonight, I’m just really proud of the effort they put out there.” With the game pretty well in hand and the Bears needing a miracle, it was the Bees’ defense that got the final word in when Skylar Laurenti picked off a long pass attempt by Brown and took it to the house to set the final margin. The win moves the Bees to 2-0 on the season while the loss drops the Bears to 1-1. This week, the Bees will face Mountain Crest at Utah State University's Maverick Stadium on Friday. The Bees will play after the Logan vs Ogden game, and is expected to kickoff about 8:15 p.m. The Mustangs enter the game at 1-1 with a season-opening win over Salem Hills followed by a loss to Wasatch.
Bees smother Bear River to claim rivalry victory The Box Elder High School girls’ soccer team has weathered a long pre-region schedule—where all but one game was on the road—and enter region play with a 3-1-2 record. Last week, Box Elder traveled to Garland to take on the Bears and posted a lopsided 4-1 win with an overwhelming attack and smothering defense. The Bees controlled possession for nearly all of the first half, testing the Bear River keeper regularly. The Bees scored first when a perfectly placed pass up the wing found Alison Reynolds, who’s stellar individual effort left her one-on-one with the Bear River keeper. Reynolds took advantage of the opportunity with a perfectly placed shot over the keeper’s head. Bear River started applying a little more pressure later in the half, but the Bees maintained their momentum, and in a flurry of activity at the end of the half that saw a couple of shots and juicy rebounds in less than a minute, Mylan Daniels found Tylee Anderson, who slipped through the defense and found the far side of the net. The second half was much the same story, but the Bees found success much earlier. A few minutes in to the half, Hailey Jarman was deep in the Bear’s defense and found herself stymied. She passed the ball back out and found a streaking Molly Robb, who put the ball in the top corner for a 3-0 Box Elder lead. The Bears were unwilling to simply roll over, and played more aggressively and increased their possession through the half. Bear River scored their lone goal on a contested shot where Box Elder keeper Hailey Zelaya was able to get a hand on a high shot. She wasn’t able to get enough on it to deflect it over the net, however, and it bounced and rolled in. The Bees’ final score came in the final few minutes of the game when McKenna Ricks worked a bouncing ball through a defeated Bear River defense. As soon as she had room, she quickly fired a shot to the far side. In other action last week, the Bee suffered their first loss of the season, 0-2, against Sky View. This week, the Bees opened region play at Roy on Tuesday (results not available by press time). Roy entered the week with the best record in Region 5 at 4-2-0 (12 points). Box Elder and Farmington were both behind the Royals with 11 points, Viewmont had earned nine points, Bountiful had two points by way of two ties, and Woods Cross has yet to win or tie a game. On Thursday, the girls will finally be coming home to host Viewmont. That game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m.
Trent Dickson churns off a few hard-earned yards on his way to a game-high 78 yards rushing. He also had a rushing touchdown and led the Bees in receiving with one reception for 13 yards and a touchdown. Mistakes were made: Bees work together to win game that looked like the first of the season
August 22, 2018 • Jeremy Jones • Staff Writer
In a game that looked, in many ways, like the first game of the season for both teams, the Box Elder High School football team overcame an early deficit and beat Layton, 28-14, in the season opener for both teams last Friday night in Brigham City. After the game, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said he was proud of the fight his team showed in getting the win, while also acknowledging the team has some work ahead of them. “We made a lot of mistakes the whole game, but what I like is that our kids were playing together,” Gunter said. “So when we made those mistakes, we were doing it together and we were competing. They played hard, so that’s easy to work with and we can always build from that.” One of those early mistakes came after the Bees had an apparent stop on defense and had the Lancers in a pickle at 4th-and-19 on the Bees’ 25-yard line. Lancer quarterback Landon Brant came up with a big play, finding tight end Jonathan Hunt over the middle for a touchdown. A failed two-point conversion attempt left the score at 6-0 after the first period. That touchdown for Brant proved to be his only highlight as he finished completing just 3-of-8 passes for 58 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. The Bees weren’t able to answer until late in the second quarter when they started to meet their goal of establishing their ground game. Five straight running plays were capped off by a 12-yard touchdown run by Trent Dickson to give the Bees the lead for good at 7-6. Dickson lead all rushers in the game with 78 yards on nine carries with the one score. He also led Box Elder receivers with one reception for 13 yards and a touchdown. Fellow running back, senior Bernard Pena was called on time and again to do the tough running up the middle and he finished with 66 yards on 16 attempts with a touchdown. The Bees’ first interception came just before halftime when Bridger Kaneko stepped in front of an errant pass to squash any chance the Lancers had to take the lead before the break. The Bees blew the game open in the third quarter, posting two touchdowns while also shutting out the Lancers on the other side of the ball. Box Elder’s defense was keyed by the play of linebacker Logan Holgate, who posted a team-high 9.5 tackles including the Bees’ only sack in the game. Sophomore quarterback Parker Buchanan recorded his first passing touchdown of the 2018 season when he found Dickson over the middle for a 13-yard score. Later in the quarter, Pena found pay dirt from seven yards out to push the lead to 21-6. The Bees recorded their second takeaway of the night when Pena snatched a pass from Brant and nearly scored before getting tripped up at the 15-yard line. Three plays later, Buchanan called his own number and dove in from a yard out to seal the game as the Bees went up 28-6. Buchanan finished the night completing 5-of-14 passes for 33 yards and one touchdown. He also ran the ball four times for 14 yards and another score. With the junior varsity squads finishing out the game for both teams, the Lancers found the end zone again late in the fourth as Tanner Clem plowed in from two yards out. Lancers’ backup quarterback Tyler Reid connected with Jake Marriott on the two-point conversion attempt to set the final score. This Friday, the Bees will try to reclaim the Golden Spike trophy against rival Bear River. Last week, the Bears were leading Juan Diego 14-7 in the third quarter when the game had to be suspended due to lightning in the area. With a weather delay or not, the Bears will be looking this week to prove that last season’s 19-0 win over the Bees was no fluke. Of the matchup this week, coach Gunter said, “We roll one game at a time. That’s what our preseason is all about. We’ve just got to get better each week, but [the Bears] are tough, hard-nosed kids and it will make our kids compete. That’s what we want.” The game against the Bears is scheduled to kick-off at Box Elder high school at 7 p.m.
Parker Buchanon delivers a pass while under pressure in last year’s Purple and White intra-squad scrimmage. The sophomore will be leading the Bees’ offense this year.
More experienced team eyes return to post-season
After a long, hot summer of tackling dummies, wind sprints, and conditioning drills, the Box Elder high school football team is ready and excited for their first game of this season on Friday when they host Layton. The Bees will be looking for fast start to their season with another statement win over a 6A school. When the Bees took on the Lancers in the season opener last year, they cruised to a 39-14 win behind a revamped passing attack that had the Lancers guessing from the start. Despite the early success, the Bees struggled with consistency for much of the season last year, falling to rival Bear River—ending a six-year win streak against the Bears—and then going 0-4 in region play to miss out on the playoffs for the first time in seven years. To improve in those areas this year, Bees’ head coach Robbie Gunter said the team will be looking to establish themselves physically early on in games and also look to get the running game going early on. “This year, we really want to establish a physical presence out there and I think we have the guys to do it,” Gunter said. “We have a lot of players back on the defensive side of the ball that will help us out, so we’re excited to get things started and see how we do.” The Bees will be returning four offensive linemen from last year, and three on defense, including Ryan Gunn and Tyson Madsen, who play line on both sides of the ball. One of the leaders on defense this season will be senior defensive back Skyler Laurenti, who recorded 51 tackles and came up with three interceptions last season. In all, the Bees are returning eight defensive starters, including linebacker Bernard Pena and safety Mike Davis, who were first and second on the team, respectively, in tackles made. After getting some playing time as a freshman last year, sophomore quarterback Parker Buchanon will get the nod as the main signal caller to start the season. Other key offensive players will be wide receiver Connor Stevenson, who led the Bees with 34 receptions for 715 yards (21.03 average per catch) and six touchdowns. Gunter will look to capitalize on the physical, hard-nosed play of linebacker Pena by putting him in the running back position. One key for the Bees will be limiting mistakes on the field, while trying to force their opponent into their own, and then capitalizing on the opportunity. Another point the team is stressing in the early going is finishing games strong as the team scored just 14 points in the fourth quarters of games they lost last season, but several of those losses were close enough that some late-game success could have made a difference. As tends to be the case early in the season, coach Gunter also said, “Our main focus right now is coming together as a team. We do have a lot of guys back that played for us last year and we’re working now to blend all of our talent together in the best ways possible.” In two preseason polls, the Bees’ are picked to finish fourth in the six-team Region 5, which would be good enough to return to the post-season. After starting last season as road warriors due to the construction done on the track around the field, the Bees will kick off this season with three home games starting against the Lancers on Friday. The team will then host Bear River in an effort to reclaim the Golden Spike trophy. The Bees will then look for some redemption against Mountain Crest and finish off the preseason on the road against Green Canyon. The Bees will then enter region play against familiar foes in Bountiful and Viewmont before tangling with the brand new high school in Farmington. The Bees then head to Roy and host Woods Cross to finish up region play and then will finish the season against Bonneville on Wednesday, Oct. 17. All games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.
Last year’s 5A MVP, Annie Mecham, headlines a group that has tasted success and is hungry for another deep run into the state tournament.
Bees ready to face season with the biggest target of all on their backs
There is no bigger target in all of high school sports than that of defending state champion. The Box Elder High School volleyball team is well-aware of that status coming off a thrilling victory over Bountiful in last year’s state championship game, and they are excited for the challenge this season will bring. “We’ve had a lot of conversations with the girls and we’ll continue to have them,” said head coach Kristine Harding. “This is a new season with new beginnings. We cannot ride the coattails of last season’s success and we don’t want to. This group of girls wants to make their own mark and we’re excited to get it started.” One big positive step the Bees have already taken is getting back five key contributors from last season’s championship run. “We have five seniors coming back this year. Three of them have been multi-year starters and, honestly, this group has as much depth and maturity as any group I’ve coached,” Harding said. Last year’s Deseret News 5A MVP Annie Mecham headlines a group that has tasted success and is hungry for more with another deep run into the state tournament. In addition to those seniors, there are eight juniors on the team that are hungry for varsity minutes and a spot in the regular rotations. Over the summer, coach Harding said she was impressed by how in-shape the girls looked heading into tryouts. “We have a lot of three-sport athletes on our team and I could tell they’ve all been very active this summer. We haven’t had to do a lot of conditioning or things like that in practice because the girls came in physically ready to go.” With their bodies strong, the team has been working on their ball control, passing, and building even stronger chemistry as a team, points which Harding believes will set them apart from the rest once region play begins. “I think our team chemistry will be one of our strengths all season long, but we do have some girls in some different spots than they’ve been before, so we’re working to get that timing and teamwork down as early as possible in the year.” One question that remains for the team is how they’ll be able to prepare themselves mentally for each game, knowing they will get their opponent’s best shot. Another variable during region play will be how the team reacts to the different playing styles they’ll be faced with this season. “Bountiful and Viewmont both lost some big athletes so they are both going to have to play a little different style of volleyball than they have in years past. So I’m a little anxious to see how our girls react and handle the different styles they’ll face.” The Bees will start their season on Tuesday on the road against Brighton. The team will then be on the road again the next week to take on rival Bear River, followed by their home opener on Thursday, Aug. 30, against Skyline. The team will finish up their preseason schedule on Sept. 6 at home against Sky View before opening region play at home against Woods Cross. The Bees will also square off against familiar foes in Bountiful, Viewmont, and Roy, and will welcome the new addition of Farmington High School, which was completed over the summer and will be entering their first year of competition. All varsity matches are scheduled to start at 6 pm and, like last year, the team will not be charging admission to their home matches. “I hope our community knows what a great opportunity they have to see some amazing volleyball and amazing athletes right here in Brigham City,” Harding said. “You don’t have to go to Salt Lake or California to see some top-level volleyball. We have it right here.”
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