Mity Mites win fourth-straight title
Heading into Saturday’s championship game, the Park City Mity Mite United football team, made up of players 11 and under, had won 43 straight games. In four years under coach Thomas Baynes, the squad had yet to lose and had cruised to three straight titles.
That streak looked like it was in jeopardy on Saturday at Ecker Hill Middle School. Facing off against Granger, the only team to even challenge the Mity Mites during their winning streak, things were looking dire late in the game.
Holding a narrow 7-6 lead, Park City kept battling, but the Granger squad, featuring much bigger players, kept marching down the field.
But a couple holding penalties slowed Granger down, eventually leading to the drive stalling out deep in Park City territory as time expired. With the win, the Mity Mites improved to 44-0 over the last four years and tacked on a fourth-straight title.
"This feels good," Baynes said. "When these boys got involved with the program, Park City was kind of suffering a bit. Now we’ve run the table four straight years. I don’t think any Park City team has ever done that four straight championships."
Baynes added that the small Park City squad showed its true toughness on the final Granger drive.
"We handle most teams pretty easily we’re a pretty good little team but [Granger] came in and they’re bigger and they’re stronger," he said. "At Park City, we just don’t have the size they do, so it was just unbelievable. We were tired, we were beat up, we were worn out and two or three kids were out of the game. Kids needed to come out but they weren’t going to come out. Watching them step up and just shut them down was unbelievably impressive."
Though the Mity Mites United squad had the impressive winning streak and the four straight titles, they weren’t the only Park City team to win a championship on Saturday. In fact, they weren’t even the only Park City team to defeat Granger in a title game on Saturday. Unbelievably, they weren’t even the only Park City team that needed a late defensive stand to beat a Granger team by one point on Saturday.
Also at Ecker Hill, the Park City Midget United team of players 12 and under battled its way to a 14-13 victory over Granger to claim a championship of its own.
Once again, Granger held a big size advantage over Park City, but coach Ted Baumann’s squad wasn’t about to back down.
"When [Granger] walked on the field, it tilted," Baumann laughed. "They have five kids over 275 pounds and they’re 12 years old. My son, Brady, weighs 80 pounds soaking wet. It was quite a difference in size."
But, playing against the team that handed Park City its only loss during the regular season, the Midget United players used Granger’s size to their advantage.
"Our backs are speedy and we ran outside," Baumann said. "We catered to our strengths and mixed it up a lot. Then the defense made some great stops. We got a big interception right before the half. Every one of our players had a part to play today and they executed beyond anyone’s expectations."
Brady Baumann said getting Granger back for beating them earlier in the season was a great feeling.
"It was pretty awesome," he said. "When the whistle blew after the last play, I just couldn’t believe it. We were all really excited, just jumping up and down, enjoying the moment."
Brady admitted that he and his teammates were a little bit intimidated by Granger’s size, but added that they weren’t about to let that stop them from giving their best effort.
"It’s scary, but in a way, it’s kind of fun," he said. "When we were out there on defense trying to stop them, it was nerve-wracking. It was hard, but we did it."
The Park City Gremlin United team also scored a title-game win over Granger on Saturday, but did so in a less nail-biting fashion, securing a 28-7 final score.
The Park City Midget White squad was the winner of a scoreboard-spinning title game against Corner Canyon Blue, holding on for a 39-27 victory.
Park City’s fifth and final title of the day came from the Gremlin White team. Park City defeated Woods Cross White 22-18.
Park City Mountain Resort is scheduled to start limited summer operations on Saturday, including the operation of PayDay lift for hikers and bikers.