Brighton High School's girls freshman/sophomore soccer team gathered in a huddle underneath an October blue sky and cheered as they received the first-ever trophy for their league.
Canyons School District launched the soccer league for ninth- and 10th-graders in summer 2015 to provide more opportunities for younger students to access to high school sports. Typically, some 80 students try out for varsity and junior varsity soccer, but only 35 students are selected to play on the team. The pilot league for freshmen and sophomores included teams of 18-25 players from every CSD high school as well as two schools from Granite School District. The league culminated with a tournament competition on Oct. 7, 2015.
Scores were tallied throughout the season to determine a winner. The top four teams in the tournament belonged to Canyons: Brighton won with 13 points; followed by Hillcrest and Corner Canyon, who tied with 12 points each; and Alta, with 11 points. The championship trophy was awarded at the halftime of the Bengals’ varsity girls soccer game. There, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Robert Dowdle called the league a success, and noted its popularity among students and families.
“The league will go on,” Dr. Dowdle said. “It’s good for our kids because there are more sports for participation, and that was our vision.”
A freshman volleyball league was offered last year, and the boys soccer league will begin in the spring.
“The kids have loved it,” Brighton Principal Charisse Hilton said as her students hoisted the trophy over their heads in celebration. The trophy will be displayed in Brighton’s front office.