Make that first opponent your cross-town rival, and you have some players ready to jump out of their socks.
The Bountiful Braves and Viewmont Vikings went toe to toe in the first game for either team Tuesday afternoon at the Braves' field in non-region action. The Vikings won in lopsided fashion. The final score read 11-1 in only five innings.
"It's scary for the kids going into the first game," said Viewmont head coach Roger Farnsworth, who is back in the saddle as head coach after a two-year hiatus. "They don't really know what's happening."
It certainly wasn't the Vikings that seemed timid. The Braves started off the game with some muffs in the infield, and allowed any Viking baserunner to waltz across the bases with the aid of numerous throwing errors.
The majority of the Viking hits came as a result of them beating out an infield squibbler that a Brave was unable to make a play on.
"Good things happen when you put the ball in play on the ground," said Farnsworth.
The Vikings took advantage of the Braves' mistakes, and warmed up the bats, as if they were in midseason form.
The Brave pitching staff were serving up five-course meals with the way they consistently hung the ball over the plate.
"We hit the ball OK," said Coach Farnsworth.
The Vikings ripped five double and were led on the mound and at the plate by their ace, Scott Burningham.
Burningham pitched three innings, giving up one hit and striking out four. He overpowered every Brave hitter and had them wishing that the season had started on Wednesday.
Burningham wasn't satisfied with shutting down the Braves' offense, he wanted to generate some of his own also.
He started things off by ripping an RBI double in the left center gap, and later scored himself in the first inning. This was just a precursor to the solo jack off a hanging curve ball that he shot onto the hill over the left field fence in the fourth inning.
It was in the third and fourth innings the Vikings put up eight runs and left no hope for a comeback. After Burningham left the mound, it was time for Tyler Crook to get his work in. He gave up the sole run, but was very effective at keeping the Braves' hitters off balance for the most part.
"Our pitchers were hitting their spots," said Farnsworth. "I know that our pitchers are ahead of our hitters at this time."
It was a triumphant return for Farnsworth as head coach of the Vikings, a role he used to form the Vikings into a consistent State Champion contender year in and year out.
"The kids are still getting used to me," he said. "But there's nothing like being back here as head coach."