PARK CITY, Utah. — Fans find it easy to follow the upwardly mobile season results of the Park City High Miners lacrosse team and/or football team and/or track & field team, they may be less aware though of just how interconnected the three really are.
Since 66% of pro football players competed in high school track & field it makes sense to spread the talent around.
Involved in different levels of coaching with the team since 2004, the track & field team’s Dave Yokum has been the head coach since 2012. He said, “We have one of the fastest track & field teams and one of the fastest football teams in the state. We have always had a few football players compete in track and field, however, in the last five years, the number has grown to between 25 and 30 students. A lot of this has to do with the current coaches at the high school working together. Football and track & field are very complimentary.”
There were 33 PCHS football players competing on the track & field team this year. A number of those kids also played basketball or wrestled during the winter season. Coinciding logistical seasons of play can pose some challenges but when opposing seasons present themselves it’s more simple for students and their families to get it all in.
It’s considered passe to pigeonhole school-aged athletes into one sport. Instead, trends support the widely-practiced art and the science of coaches and parents supporting much more well-rounded athletic and academic endeavors.
“From my perspective, all the coaches at the school are very focused on helping the kids, both male and female, become better human beings. We have a very open staff. It has not always necessarily been that way.” — Coach Yokum
He also works with the football team in the summer to help develop speed.
This year the boys finished second at the state 5A track and field meet, their best finish since 1997. They were 3A in the ’90s when lots of boys competed in football and track & field.
One can count on two hands the number of ground-speed sports teams class of 2021 alumni will compete for after this summer in the collegiate world. The long list ranges from right here in the state at the U of U
to ivy league schools on both coasts.
Needless to say, the current club cooperative climate is a win, win.