ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler
The Dinos are ready to return to the court with one of their deepest teams in recent memory. Along with their six seniors, the Dinos have a number of underclassmen that will fight for varsity time.
“This year, we even have three, maybe four, sophomores that could give us some really good minuets. There are three juniors that are really solid; they’ll push any of our varsity kids. It’s exciting,” said head coach Jared Butler. “We might be 10, 12, 13 kids deep at the varsity level.”
Clearly, it is a good problem to have, but managing who is out on the court can be a challenge with so many options available. Butler added, “This year, we shouldn’t have a big drop off when we go to the bench, which is exciting. We’ll see how we can handle it. I’ve got to do what is best for our team.”
Region 12 is constantly the most competitive region in 3A, and that does not appear to be changing any time soon. Grand could be weaker than it has been and Emery lost all five of its starters, leaving a lot of questions to be answered for the Spartans. Richfield, San Juan and South Sevier, however, look ready for war.
“San Juan should be solid. Obviously, Richfield is going awesome. They lost [some seniors], but they are solid. Their JV spanked us [last year],” Butler said. “I think South Sevier will be solid. Again, they’ll be smaller, but they always have shooters. They’ve got two drop shooters this year that can hit shots from way deep. That’s always a tough guard.”
Although it is always an extremely competitive region, Carbon could easily be fighting for one of those top spots. “I think we should be in the mix if our kids will believe in themselves,” said Butler. “I think our region is going to be so competitive, as usual. Realistically, [we could finish] second or third, but there’s a possibility we could be fighting for a region championship. It will be a battle.”
The number one goal of the team, however, is to reach the elusive, second weekend of the state tournament. “I’d like to get through that play-in game. That’s something Carbon’s done once in 25-30 years.” Grantsville, Juab, Manti, Morgan, South Summit and aforementioned teams will all be tough outs in the tournament, which will add extra incentive to end in the top of the RPI standings. As of right now, Carbon has South Summit and Juab on its schedule, which will be good “show me” contests.
Butler reiterated, “I mostly want to get through that state play-in game. Because once you do that, then you’re rolling and anything can happen.” The sky is the limit for this Dino team if they can come together and believe.