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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton plays host to a variety of sporting events

May 29, 2022 12:52PM ● By Jerry Christensen

By Jerry Christensen | [email protected]

The Cottonwood Heights community’s investment in Brighton High School is seeing returns as  the newly rebuilt school is transforming into a larger and more capable institution.

“Brighton High School has become favored host to region and statewide events,” said Brighton’s principal Tom Sherwood. “This is a new chapter in Brighton’s history given the capabilities that the community has given to the school with its newly completed build.”

A case in point is the unprecedented opportunity to host the first round of this spring’s tennis state championship. Coach Natalie Meyer, a Bengal alumna and former Brighton tennis player, explained that “there were decades when Brighton did not have the facilities to host tennis tournament. Despite being a perennial tennis powerhouse, Brighton was relegated to playing most matches on the road.” In fact, until recently, Brighton played its home matches at Antczak Park. 

“That Brighton is the preferred venue for region and now state tournaments speaks to the dramatic change we are enjoying,” Brighton’s athletic director Lynn Moncur said. 

Equally impressive was a highlight event in Brighton’s new gym facility in February. The UHSAA (Utah High School Activities Association) chose Brighton, with its expanded athletic facilities, to host the 5A girls wrestling divisional tournament. Again, in previous decades, Brighton didn’t have the capacity nor the space to hold even regional tournaments in its gymnasiums much less a divisional tournament which draws teams and spectators from 15 schools across the state. The Brighton facility and the Brighton staff pulled off the two-day tournament “flawlessly” according to one mat official who recommends that Brighton be the permanent new home for these large-scale divisionals.

Were regional, divisional and state tournament hosting not evidence enough of a transformation into the greater Brighton, a national event has just been added to the school’s schedule. Brighton was chosen to host the June 24 ESPN/Under Armour football camp for elite athletes from around the United States. Former coach Justin Hemm who facilitated this camp to Utah said, “I think hosting the camp is big for not only Brighton but the state of Utah. For Brighton, the camp will do a tremendous job of highlighting our athletes and faculties. For the state, I think it shows the type of athletes coming out and the hotbed that Utah has become for college football recruiting. We have major power teams from across the nation coming in each year to recruit from the state.”  

Brighton joins brand-name schools like Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas in hosting such invite-only events. Brighton is well suited given its proximity to the airport, its turf field, the indoor field house, the broadcast and announcing facilities and the supporting staff.