If any year is the year for Bingham High School to make high school football noise on a national scale, this is it. The Miners won a 5A state title last year--their second in four years--and six starters on defense return along with a quarterback who threw for nearly 2,000 yards, ran for 600 more and was a few tosses shy of having 30 touchdown passes.
If you're buying into Bingham's "Leave No Doubt" mantra plastered where anyone will pay attention, know this: the Miners' schedule will open with Utah 5A state title contender Davis, an up-and-coming 5A team in Herriman--and the No. 1 school in the country according to USA Today, Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas.
On Wednesday, July 30 USA Today also named Bingham the No. 23 team in the land in the same Super 25 pre-season poll. And so the Miners probably have as good of a chance as anyone in pulling off the upset over No. 1 Gorman. It just won't be easy.
Gorman is a five-times-running Nevada state champion featuring rapper Snoop Dogg's son Cordell Broadus--who recently transferred there. It also has a slew of five-star blue-chip prospects that Gorman attracts each and every year to its sparkling facilities nestled against unforgiving desert mountains.
The other unforgiving person--or Snoop-a-loop-- may have been a bit overzealous coaching his own son, if you ever watched his reality TV show, but that's not the case at the new school, according to Cordell Broadus new coach, Tony Sanchez. “Snoop has been fantastic,” Sanchez said in an interview with USA Today. “He has been really good about just letting us coach.”
After Gorman comes Hunter, another 5A state powerhouse on the West side who will be at home and likely be up for that game--since it's possible but not likely Bingham will have defeated Gorman the previous week.
The week after Hunter will give Bingham somewhat of a respite against Granger, another 5A team on the rise. The back end of the slate goes Brighton, Alta--also traditional state powers--and Jordan featuring Wisconsin QB commit Austin Kafentzis, in that order.
Not until the final two games on the Miners slate does Bingham even get a wink's worth of rest--and these kids are still in high school.
Yet nothing ever comes easy for Bingham, a school tucked away in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley that has been--for better or worse--a program subject to numerous recruiting investigations after the school in upper-income South Jordan started winning games hand over fist with students who previously attended middle schools in metro Salt Lake City and the valley's west side.
Bingham also hasn't become the football juggernaut most thought it would be after winning back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010. Even last year's highly touted recruiting class went belly up--seven of eight kids signed to play for FCS, not FBS, schools.
Things went south for Bingham in many regards. In years past, players have been cited for underage drinking and arrested for felony theft and the program itself has looked and felt more like a Division I college program under intense scrutiny. Things appear to be changing in that context, however--the Miners are really looking forward to this year and no player has been arrested or cited recently for any offense.
The Miners have a puncher's chance this year to release some of the shackles that have bound them to negative headlines--for better or worse. But, the battle to stay unbeaten and win a back-to-back state title and possibly a national title will not be easy--nothing good ever is, though.