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The City Journals

Miners dominate in boys volleyball with undefeated record, state title

Aug 06, 2019 01:15PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Bingham Blast, the school premier varsity volleyball team, celebrated a third-straight state title. (Photo courtesy of Jill Davis)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

As a non-sanctioned club sport, boys volleyball isn’t popular at all schools around the state. In fact, some school don’t even have enough interested to form a team. Things are different at Bingham where the Miners have five teams and where its premier squad, Bingham Blast, recently captured its third consecutive state crown. 

And it wasn’t even close. 

The Blast amassed an eye-popping 50-0 mark at the premier varsity level. In boys volleyball, teams play best-of-three matches, and the Blast’s games were never in doubt. 

“They never took a match to a third set but won all 50 games in two sets, which is pretty remarkable, especially considering we only had two returning players from last year’s state champion team,” head coach JT Thomas said.

A total of 79 students tried out for the program. Coaches selected 45 of the hopeful players to participate on five teams, three varsity and two junior varsity level squads. All three varsity teams were ranked at the top in Salt Lake County for much of the year. Jill Davis, the boys volleyball director, said the JV teams were also “at the top of the pack all season.” Katie Hansen guided the Bingham Spikes, one of the JV squads, to a second-place showing in their division for the county, while Alan Thompson coached the other JV team to a third-place divisional finish. 

“We are ever grateful to our coaches and families for all their support and appreciate the boys for their interest in and devotion to the game,” Davis said.

Winning three straight championships isn’t easy in any sport. Davis said all three championship runs have featured unique teams that each had certain traits and strengths. This past season’s group was particularly special. 

“We are proud of this 2019 group for the brotherhood they established and the team energy and spirit they exhibited,” Davis said. “Everyone could get the job done on the court at any given time, and they really rallied around each other, trusted each other and used each other. They worked closely together and were very creative in their approach, which kept the other teams guessing from point to point where the ball would be coming from.”

Thomas echoed Davis’ comments. He was pleased with everyone’s efforts and attitude in games, at practice and away from the sport.

“I loved their enthusiasm and how well they got along both on and off the court,” he said. “They were friends outside of volleyball, and the boys themselves even noted how well they got along. This program is getting bigger and better, and a highlight is truly having three-peat state win, which is truly remarkable.” 

A number of players contributed to the continued success of the program this past season. Setters Michael Thompson and Price Davis, who’ll both be back as seniors next season, kept things moving with a lot of variety in the plays. Jill Davis said when Price was positioned to play outside, he was often “unstoppable with his hard-hitting kills.” He earned MVP honors at state. Graduated Austin Burton was a valuable libero keeping balls alive from the back of the court, while Jill Davis said incoming senior Chris Kavapalu and graduated Rhyn Ling did a “fantastic job as middles with plenty of roofs, sneaky tips and quick dumps.” 

Graduated Adam Boswell and his brother Carter, who’ll be a junior, joined the team after moving from Chicago. Jill Davis said they were effective on the outside and even brought energy and humor to the program. Both were named to the All-Tournament Team at state.

Jill Davis also said soon-to-be senior Tyson Moss was “exciting to watch with his quick whip from the outside, and we expect to see him be all the more dynamic next year.” Meanwhile, Isaac Anderson, who graduated this past June, served effectively at state.  

Jill Davis said the tremendous success the Bingham program has had wouldn’t come without help from the South Jordan community. As a non-sanctioned sport, boys volleyball has many challenges other sports don’t face. 

“We are ever grateful for the support of our Bingham faculty and community,” she said. “They have ignited ‘the B’ for us with each state win, displayed our trophies on campus, included us in the yearbooks and have produced a great fan section from year to year to cheer us on. This means so much to the boys. We are also grateful for the good relations we have with our neighboring teams and appreciate all the effort that goes into sustaining this sport statewide.”