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When the Utah High School Activities Association put down the scalpel last week and revealed the state's retooled regions, several schools on Salt Lake County's sprawling west side were left smiling.
Cottonwood, Skyline, Cyprus and Murray were exchanged for Kearns, Taylorsville and Viewmont in Class 5A's Region 2.
Region 2 coaches said the new alignment, which now features six teams instead of seven, helps restore natural geographic rivalries and makes the region fiercely competitive. The other teams in Region 2 are West, Hunter and Granger.
"I think our league is set up very well competitive-wise," said Granger football coach Doyle Holt. "I don't see a bunch of 51-10 scores like it was in our league before."
Viewmont, in Davis County, is the only geographic oddball.
Yet the west-side schools are excited to have a mysterious member in their region one that consistently fields great teams, but is largely unknown to many Region 2 members.
"I think they're a great member as far as competitiveness in our league," Holt said of Viewmont. "I think they fit OK with us."
Although Rich Kaelin, Taylorsville's longtime softball and volleyball coach, said he's disappointed to be leaving a region that included Copper Hills and Bingham, he is excited to have Viewmont.
"Viewmont's always been very, very tough in volleyball and softball," he said. "It's always nice to have competitive teams."
For his part, Viewmont football coach Brad Lloyd said his staff is excited as well. "It will be good for our school and our players," Lloyd said. "We can't wait to see what these teams have to offer."
Hunter football coach Dustin Pearce is not fazed at all by the region's new look.
"It's our backyard with Granger, Hunter and Kearns," Pearce said. "Our kids know everyone who goes to West."
The region's new makeup has prompted at least one coach, Holt, to attempt to resurrect a bygone era.
Years ago, Holt said Cyprus, Granger, Hunter and Kearns competed for the Copper Spike Trophy – a tradition that ended when the schools split into different regions.
"It's a natural rivalry," Holt said. "I'd love to see those four teams revive that rivalry a little bit. I think that'd be a lot of fun."
And with six teams instead of seven, Holt said Region 2 will now be devoid of play-in games and "confusion."
Holt's excitement at playing more schools on the west side likely will be shared by his team. "Our kids get excited to play the schools that are close," he said.
Tribune correspondent Jennifer Gustavson contributed to this story. 5A changes
The UHSAA dropped Cottonwood, Skyline, Cyprus and Murray from 5A's Region 2, exchanging them for Kearns, Taylorsville and Viewmont.
Region coaches say the new additions link well with current members Granger, West and Hunter, and many natural rivalries will be reignited.
Viewmont, in south Davis County, may be seen from the outside as the region's geographic oddball. Not so to region coaches, who say they look forward to having Viewmont's strong roster of teams on board.
Granger football coach Doyle Holt wants to restore the Copper Spike rivalry among Granger, Kearns and Hunter. Years ago, the Copper Spike Trophy was awarded to the team in this trio, as well as Cyprus, that finished with the best record.