Mites win championship, run table |

Mites win championship, run table

Ryan Tibbitts, For the Record

When the Park City Ute Conference Mity Mite Continental football team was formed in August, nine of the 17 players had never played organized tackle football before.

No one could have guessed, looking at that group of deer-in-the-headlights kids, that three months later when the curtain fell on the 2010 season, the team would stand at the top of the league with a perfect 11-0 record and a victory in the Ute conference championship game.

Saturday at Juan Diego High School, the Mity Mites defeated the West Panthers 31-14 to win the championship and keep their undefeated record intact.

The game was much closer than the final score indicates.

The Miners led 18-14 with only seven minutes to go in the game when West scored on a long pass play for what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown. Fortunately for Park City, a holding penalty against West brought the play back and retained the lead for the Miners.

The Miner defense held and then long touchdown runs by Cy Coleman and Maclane Vipond sealed the victory for Park City.

Recommended Stories For You

Ray Kinsman scored Park City’s only extra point of the day following Vipond’s touchdown.

Coleman’s touchdown came on a fourth-down situation where the momentum could have easily swung back to West if the Miners had failed.

Coleman took a handoff on a speed sweep, but West closed off the corner so Coleman had to briefly reverse field as several West defenders closed in on him. For a moment, it looked like he would get tackled for a loss and the ball would go over to West, but Coleman saw a slight gap in the West defense, shot through it and sprinted 30 yards for the touchdown.

Neither team scored in the first quarter as the Miners had trouble moving the ball against a huge West team, which had several players that are close to 200 pounds at 11 years old.

Park City runners Alec Olsen and Coleman had many huge gains around the ends on sweeps, but the Miners couldn’t get it into the end zone.

Finally, in the second quarter, after West spread out its defense in an effort to shut down Olsen and Coleman, Park City put a drive together that was capped by a five-yard touchdown run up the middle by fullback Jonas Loyens..

Soon thereafter, quarterback McCoy Tibbitts hit wide receiver Jack Loyens for a 20-yard touchdown to end the half with Park City in the lead 12-0.

In the third quarter, West put its first score on the board. Then, with the West defense spread out to stop the sweeps, Jonas Loyens rammed through the West line, cut to the outside and outran the rest of the West defenders 40 yards to the end zone for Park City’s third score.

West then closed the gap to 18-14, which set up the drama for the last few minutes of the title game.

Other than a few long pass plays, the Miner defense held firm most of the day and shut down the Panthers’ running game.

Jonas Loyens terrorized West all day from his linebacker position. Park City kickers Keizer and Vipond also put Park City in great position several times with rifle-shot kicks.

Chance Denison contributed a key 10-yard run for a first down. Receiver Mark Vausbinder took a Tibbitts swing pass down the field for a nice gain and Liam O’Neill made a daring return of a West kickoff to put the Miners in good field position.

Noah Potts, Gavin Schenk, Jack Dalton and Ethan Hoogeveen all made key stops on defense. Hoogeveen and Chris Krebs flawlessly handled the centering duties while also facing a West defensive line that would increase the weight average of some high school teams.

The Park City team of Ben Butcher, Alec Olsen, Mark Vausbinder, Jack Loyens, Chance Denison, Noah Potts, McCoy Tibbitts, Jack Dalton, Cy Coleman, Conner Keizer, Ray Kinsman, Maclane Vipond, Jonas Loyens, Liam O’Neill, Gavin Schenk, Chris Krebs and Ethan Hoogeveen all contributed to the undefeated championship season.

"This has been a magical season for these boys and our whole coaching staff," head coach Cal Colman said. "The assistant coaches Dave Loyens, Rey Butcher, Ryan Tibbitts and Todd Keizer were awesome with these boys and helped them become winners and undefeated champions in football."