Record editorial: In Class 5A, PCHS will have chance to prove itself against state’s elite athletic programs
A big challenge, and an opportunity commensurate with it, await Park City High School’s athletic teams two seasons from now.
On Thursday, the Utah High School Activities Association finalized realignment for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 athletic seasons. The organization bumped PCHS up to Class 5A, the second largest classification, in all sports except football, where it will continue to compete in Class 4A. The move marks the beginning of a new era for the Miners. Having competed in the lower and middle tiers of Utah high school sports throughout the history of the PCHS athletic program — achieving plenty of success along the way — they’ll go toe-to-toe with some of the most prestigious athletic programs in the state. And PCHS will have the chance to establish itself as their equal.
Despite some concerns from PCHS about the equity of UHSAA’s reclassification process — the Miners were slotted into Region 5, where the nearest school is 42 miles away, after seeking placement in the much closer Region 6, also in Class 5A — the school and its athletes are eager for the test.
The adjustment, of course, won’t be easy. In Region 5, the Miners will line up against the likes of Bountiful, Bonneville, Box Elder, Farmington, Viewmont and Woods Cross. All are formidable foes. And all, with the exception of Farmington, which opened this fall, have a long history of success competing among the largest schools in Utah and full trophy cases to prove it. And when the Miners qualify for the state playoffs, the competition will only get tougher.
For a handful of PCHS teams, it will likely take some time before the rewards of moving up in classification manifest themselves in victories and, eventually, region and state titles. But others appear ready to immediately prove they can play with the top programs in Utah.
The boys golf team, for instance, seems fully prepared. The squad has dominated Class 4A, and Class 3A before it, on its way to 11 consecutive state titles. Joining Class 5A will allow the Miners to see how they stack up against other elite teams over the course of a full season. The same goes for the volleyball, tennis and swimming programs, which have flourished in Class 4A and look primed to adapt to a schedule with an increased degree of difficulty.
Regardless of how quickly the Miners earn victories and titles in their new region, though, one thing seems certain: They’ll find a way to meet the challenge. And that makes the move up in classification an exciting time for both young athletes in Park City and the community cheering them on.
The efforts of organizations like the South Summit Trails Foundation mean access to easy access to trails is no longer an amenity enjoyed only on the West Side.