Since 1983 when the Utah High School Activities Association made boys soccer an official sport, Pleasant Grove High School has won a grand total of one state title in the sport.
And that was in 2018.
Yet few would argue that the Vikings aren’t the big favorites to repeat this year as they feature a team loaded with talent, speed and experience.
Pleasant Grove has a more prominent history in baseball, having won four state titles including its most recent, being the 5A champions in 2015.
Once again, this group of Vikings believes it can be in the mix to bring home another state championship.
Pleasant Grove has less of a tradition in softball, having never gotten to the top and rarely even been considered a factor in determining who would earn the crown.
But even though the Vikings aren’t considered a favorite, they could easily be called a dark horse and might be capable of pulling an upset or two.
2019 is definitely a pretty exciting time to be a Pleasant Grove fan.
The Viking upward trend has been going throughout the school year, including being in the 6A football semifinals and the runner-up in 6A boys basketball and 6A volleyball.
Include the dominant Pleasant Grove wrestling program in the mix (which won it’s seventh state championship in eight years) and you already have a story of a really good year.
But the Vikings hope they are only getting started.
Pleasant Grove won Region 4 outright in both baseball and boys soccer, while the softball team tied for the league crown and ended up with the No. 2 seed.
That means the next couple of days will likely be very busy on the sports fields at Pleasant Grove as all three teams welcome opponents from Hunter.
The Viking baseball team will host games on Monday and Tuesday (starting with the Wolverines on Monday), while the softball and boys soccer teams will host Hunter on Tuesday.
Pleasant Grove’s boys soccer team has a pretty good idea what it takes to make it all the way, since the Vikings accomplished the feat last year.
This time, however, Pleasant Grove goes in with the big bullseye on it as everyone knows just how talented the Vikings are. That means this squad can’t let up for a moment.
“We are all talented players,” Pleasant Grove senior Talmage Woodhouse said earlier in May. “We have to make sure we are mentally in the game. We have to give everything. Sometimes we are casual because of our talent but we have to keep working.”
The biggest obstacles in the path to repeat for the Vikings appear to be Davis and Layton, both of whom had outstanding seasons. Bingham and Herriman are also teams with the depth and experience to emerge as champs.
In softball, Pleasant Grove likely wouldn’t be considered as a 6A contender against the likes of Copper Hills, Bingham, Fremont, Layton and Herriman — but don’t count out the Vikings.
“We hope we maintain our level of play so we can go into state with home games and a good seed,” Pleasant Grove head coach Leslie Young said in April. “We want to find our groove and peak at the right time.”
The Vikings earned at least one h ome game and a chance to prove they belong in the championship discussion.
While Pleasant Grove might have the most compelling trio of region champs, they are just one of many Utah Valley schools who will be taking to the field or the diamond over the next couple of weeks hoping to survive the rigors of their respective state tournaments and make it to the end (see info box).
The 5A and 6A state softball and boys soccer tournaments will begin on Tuesday, while the 4A softball tournament will continue in Spanish Fork on Thursday.