Ceremony kicks off field opening at Garrison Field
Aug 31, 2017 03:35PM
● By Jana Klopsch
The Copper Hills football players joke around as they prepare for this season. Parents and coaches are excited at the team's progress. (Jerusha Buckner/Grizzly football booster)
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There is excitement surrounding the football program at Copper Hills High School. Several new additions and a new attitude has the team focused on improving.
“This is my third son playing at Copper Hills,” Copper Hills football booster club president Pam Brenneman said. “This summer has been good. The kids have gotten their butts worked off. The old mentality of wait and see about Copper Hills is sort of frustrating, but things this summer have been really good. The program is definitely headed in the right direction.”
The football field at Copper Hills has gone through its own transformation. The addition of a new playing surface and scoreboard at Garrison Field is having a positive impact on the team.
The team will host an on-field ceremony prior to their its home game, Wednesday, Sept. 6. The homecoming week festivities will include a Zumba-thon on field. Anyone can participate, and there will be bounce houses for the kids to enjoy.
“The snack bar will be open, and we should have food trucks and just a good time while the mom’s get their work out in,” Brenneman said.
On Aug. 12 the booster club held its fifth annual dinner/auction. The theme was superheroes, and the guests heard from a military motivational speaker.
The evening included lasagna and salad from the Olive Garden and a silent auction. They raffled off things like a king-size mattress, portable speakers, golf passes and Grizzly game packages. The booster club’s goal was to raise $20,000. The money would be used to purchase new equipment for the team.
“We have never had new equipment,” Brenneman said. “This season, we bought new jerseys and weight room equipment. We just need to update all of our stuff so the kids have new things. It also goes to help some of the boys pay their fees to play.”
Football equipment can be expensive. According to Riddel.com, the typical varsity helmet without a facemask can run $279.00; face masks are $39.99, and shoulder pads are $69.99.
“I have been involved with football my whole life,” Brenneman said. “Having new things helps the kids want to be involved and part of the team.”
The Grizzlies have also hired a new coach this season. Former University of Utah linebacker Corey Dodds has taken on the task to improve the much-maligned Grizzly team.
Dodds played stud linebacker for the Utes from 2001 to 2004. He was a member of the undefeated and Fiesta Bowl champion 2004 squad and played under Urban Meyer.
He was fortunate to see success on defense even after being recruited as a wide receiver in high school. Meyer told the Salt Lake Tribune in 2003 about Dodds tenacity, “It is not by accident that he is always around turnovers. He is always giving a great effort.”
Grizzlies players have seen his effort first-hand. He has changed the culture by expecting every player to give his all on every play. Brenneman said they have worked hard in the weight room and she sees the attitude change in her own son.
“They look the best they have in a long time,” Brenneman said. “It is hard to hear that the team only loses. I have been going through chemo, and I tell the boys all of the time to have a positive attitude. I know I would be sick if I did not have a positive attitude.”
Dodds attended high school in Las Vegas before moving to Utah to live with his uncle his senior season. He graduated from Hillcrest High School.
Copper Hills has not qualified for the state tournament since 2004. The school’s only victory over rival West Jordan came in 2013.
The Grizzlies are scheduled to play Cyprus Friday, Sept. 1 and host Ridgeline Sept. 8 (homecoming).