Now that the spring high school sports playoffs are over, it's time to reveal the Standard-Examiner's season-ending rankings in baseball, softball and soccer. The next edition of the S-E's rankings will be in the fall.
— Patrick Carr, Sports Reporter
This goes without saying, doesn't it? The Warriors hit their stride at the perfect time of year and won the 6A state championship by holding on to a 1-0 win against Copper Hills.
Along the way, Weber survived on the road against the Region 2 champion Cyprus Pirates, then blasted defending state champion Pleasant Grove 3-1 in a rainy semifinal.
The best defense of any soccer team in the area belonged to Davis. The Darts allowed just five goals all season and won the Region 1 title in a season where they didn't enter as favorites. Davis won nine straight games before its season ended in the second round of the playoffs.
3. Layton Christian
There likely wasn't a more dominant team in any sport this year than the Layton Christian Academy boys soccer team. The Eagles finished with an overall record of 18-0-1, a goal differential of 127-6 and won the 2A state championship for the second time in three years. Only one team all season (St. Joseph) figured out LCA enough to prevent the Eagles from getting a win.
The end of the season proved to be a stumbling block for the Lancers, who lost three of their last four games including a 1-0 decision at Pleasant Grove in the playoffs. Still, Layton was one of the tougher foes in the area and has plenty to look forward to next season.
The ending was disappointing for the Vikings, but it shouldn't take away from what they accomplished this season. They allowed just six goals all season, 10 better than the next closest team in 5A. Viewmont comfortably won the Region 5 title as well, allowing just four goals in region play.
Layton had the perfect mix this season of young talent and experience, which guided the Lancers to an outright Region 1 championship and a state runner-up finish. No matter what kind of trouble they were in, they usually almost found a way back into games.
Two years running, Bountiful's season has ended in heartbreak at the state championship. Take nothing away from the Braves this season, though, as they were by far the best team in Region 5 and could out-hit just about anyone. Several starters are ostensibly returning next season, so keep an eye on them in the immediate future.
3. Bear River
Though the season didn't end with a 10th softball state championship in school history, Bear River was one of the last three teams standing in arguably the toughest softball classification. The Bears once again rolled through Region 12 as well as some of the other top teams in the area.
This year was probably Roy's most impressive postseason run since the Royals last won the state title in 2012. Roy really got people's attention by beating a vaunted Wasatch team in the second round of the 5A state playoffs. And then the Royals also stymied the eventual state champion, and frankly the best team in the whole state, West Panthers 2-1 in the quarterfinals.
Mandy Koford's first season back in the dugout has to be considered a success for the Silverwolves. They finished second in Region 1 and were inches away from a deep playoff run. There's plenty to look forward to for this Fremont group.
In the regular season, Syracuse finished tied for third in Region 1 and got the No. 4 playoff seed after losing out on a head-to-head tiebreaker. In the postseason, the Titans were one of the last three teams standing and also, curiously, beat Fremont in three of the teams' four meetings this year. Everything came together at the perfect time for the senior-heavy Syracuse in the playoffs.
A decent amount of the Region 1 coaches would've picked Fremont to finish somewhere around third or fourth at the start of the season. Instead, the Silverwolves won the region title, swept Davis in the regular season and created an all-Region 1 state quarterfinal matchup with Syracuse. Three of their best players — Brayden Clark, Mason Memmott and Drake Grange — all return next year so Fremont could be in this discussion again in 2020.
Davis has very quietly won four region titles in a row: two in the old 5A Region 2 and two in 6A Region 1. The Darts had five starters that were juniors who also batted better than .300 this season, so one can be sure they're a contender to make it five-straight region titles next year.
Roy had a new head coach, a young team and won the Region 5 title outright on the back of the best defense in the region plus a team that could flat-out get on base. The Royals get plenty of starters back next season and very easily could contend in Region 1, where they'll play next year in the new realignment.
Farmington closed the book on its inaugural season with a couple playoff wins, including one against Roy in the 5A one-loss bracket. Consider that most of the team is back next year, combined with the school's ballooning enrollment creating unmatched depth in the 5A classification, and we definitely have only seen a sliver of what the Phoenix can do.