Olympus High Snags First Boys Basketball State Championship
Apr 07, 2016 12:31PM
● By Bryan Scott
By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
Cottonwood - Holladay - For the first time in Olympus High School history, the boys basketball team are state champions. On March 5, the team defeated Timpview High School 51 - 44 at the Huntsman Center, making it the first basketball championship in the school’s 63-year history.
“We’ve had a lot of great teams in the past and we’ve had our chances in the past,” Coach Matt Barnes said. “This team was all about winning. They have great chemistry and are a great mix. This was so exciting for the Olympus basketball family.”
Barnes has been the coach of the boys basketball team for the past 19 years. He himself played for Olympus High in the late 1980s. Barnes said he was excited to be a part of the team who brought the championship home.
“There are so many great people. There were so many tears of joy and happiness from Olympus,” Barnes said. “We finally got our win and it was fun for everyone.”
During the game, it didn’t always look like the team was going to pull it off. Olympus was down by nine points at halftime.
“I told the boys they had to play our game and clamp down on defense,” Barnes said.
Isaac Monson is a senior from Sandy who is the team’s starting center. He said he remembers being down at the half the most fromt the game.
“Coach challenged us to leave it all out on the court and to not have any regrets,” Isaac said. “Once we won, I was riding that feeling for the rest of the day.”
Isaac said he was happy to finally get a win for the school but was happier to finally get a win for Barnes.
“He’s been the coach for 19 years,” Isaac said. “To get a win for him was special.
Seventeen-year-old Nathan Fox is the team’s starting point guard. He also remembers being down at the half.
“I was wondering if we could do this,” Nathan said. “But when we were up by four at the end of the game, we all kind of knew we won. We started giving each other hugs and high-fives.”
Once the win was official, Nathan said he and his teammates ran out on the court to celebrate.
“It really means a lot to win for the school,” Nathan said.
Travis Wagstaff is a junior and the starting shooting guard. He and Matt Lindsey are the only starting juniors and will be back next year to play for Olympus.
“We’re going to have a target on our backs,” Travis said. “It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be fun. We’re going to try and bring it back home again.”
Travis said it was really cool to win with his team because so many of them are now his friends.
“We’re all best buds,” Travis said. “It’s so cool to do this with them.”