The Sports View
It's a nice community that I know fairly well. It has a Main Street with a couple of grocery stores, a video shop, a few gas stations, a couple of fast food restaurants and in the middle of town is the Spring Chicken Inn.
That restaurant has been there since before the first time I ever went there with my parents in the early 1960's. I have been told it was opened in the 1930's.
The restaurant has numerous tables and a very nice bar at which to eat lunch. As far as I am concerned they serve some of the best homemade style fried chicken I have ever eaten.
That's why I went back there for the first time in 12 years when I was on some business in the Ogden area about a month and a half ago. I was headed back to Carbon County, and it was out of my way, but that chicken was well worth it.
I ate lunch as a television in the corner played Hollywood Squares on the game show channel. I realized that was something I hadn't seen when I was in the last time. There was also a sign above the window where the food gets passed from the cook to the waitresses. It boldly stated "THE POWER OF MORGAN FOOTBALL."
I looked up at that, knowing their team had been strong this year, but at the time I also remembered that day 10 months before when I stood on the volleyball court at Utah Valley State College and watched the tears pour out of the eyes of Lady Dinos just after they had been beaten for the 2001 3A state volleyball championship.
I looked around the room as I ate and wondered how many of the people dining there had been at that game. I wondered if some of those munching on the chicken and steaks were relatives of girls on that Lady Trojan team.
Some of the young waitresses looked familiar; could they have been there, maybe even played on that squad?
I know Morgan fairly well because in the late 1980's I lived and worked in Ogden and my wife and I came very close to buying a little farm south of the town on the road that heads to East Canyon Reservoir. Had I done that, I probably never would have come to Carbon County. Looking back, I'm glad that didn't work out. I like it here.
Morgan, primarily an agricultural town in the past, has become a big time bedroom community of Ogden in the past few years.
Morgan High School is located two blocks from Main Street directly east of the Spring Chicken Inn.
Like Carbon High it has had it's growing pains and in some ways looks similar. However the over all atmosphere in this town reminds me much more of Castle Dale than it does Price.
Somehow this 3A school has built a reputation for being a athletic powerhouse. Much smaller in terms of student numbers than Carbon (according to the last alignment from the Utah High School Activities Association they had 527 students) their athletic teams often dominate Region 11 where they play the likes of Bear River, Tooele, Ben Lomand, Ogden and after the last alignment Grantsville, .
After watching the state championship volleyball match two weekends ago between the Lady Trojans and Carbon's Lady Dinos, I realized that Carbon is beginning to tread that same path.
In the past few years Carbon girls volleyball and basketball have dominated Region 8 and Carbon baseball has won a state championship and came in third in the state this year.
Morgan is a pretty and pleasant place and they produce some great teams. It would be easy to hate them, for their victories that took away state trophies from Carbon.
I remember when I went to Murray High, we all hated Highland High because each year they, with their very tall teams of the late 1960's, took apart our basketball team at state each year knocking us out of state championship contention.
Once out of high school that feeling disappeared as many of the students I attended school with at the U of U and Westminster College were from Highland and became friends of mine.
I heard some of that same rage out of Dino fans last week. But in my old age I find it easier just to love the job the Carbon kids do and the excellence they show in both their athletic ability and their sportsmanship.
Besides, as every athlete and fan knows, there is always next year.