I’ve been working on and off for the Clipper for the past six years, and in that time I’ve been able to develop quite a wealth of experience and knowledge about south Davis County and it’s local sports teams.
In that time, I’ve learned that coaching changes are not always made by choice, and that the ever-evolving door of coaches that have come and gone from specific programs has usually benefitted one way or the other for the school, the coach, or both.
I’ve also learned that beyond that evolving door of constant change is a constant staying power. Some coaches have been here for nearly as long as I’ve been alive, and their success has translated into the transforming of a program that will see success in immediate and future years.
Such is the case with coach Roger Farnesworth, who has been at the bench for the Viewmont Vikings’ baseball team for the past 20-plus seasons. As you’ll read later in this section, Farnesworth took over a team that had little to nothing in the way of a playing field or a record of success, and transformed both into something to be feared.
From 2004-2011, the Vikings were the most feared team in Region 1 by winning eight straight region titles. Though they never won any state titles, they were considered one of the top teams in the state to compete against year after year.
But the staying power of some of south Davis County high school coaches is what surprises me the most. The first name that comes to mind for tenured coaches is Bountiful’s Larry Wall. Serving as Athletic Director as well the Braves’ football coach, Wall has done well enough with the program to have the stadium named after him, an honor typically reserved for coaches who have long-since retired.
Another name that pops up is Lori Salvo, who coached at Viewmont for several years before heading to her Alma mater at Davis. She has since won a state title and has helped the volleyball team finish in the top three for the last three years.
Many other coaches could be named here as well. Clark Stringfellow has been the Braves’ baseball coach since I first came here, and Mike Maxwell has been around for possibly as long as Farnesworth.
Davis’ Dave Leo, Ryan Bishop, Souli Phongsavath; Viewmont’s Dave Wigham, Woods Cross’ Paul Ayala: Those are all coaches that I’ve known to be here in the past six seasons of high school sports.
What keeps them here is the staying power of the county’s sports teams. Many of them have either played for or at one of the high schools, and therefore have familiarity on their side. Others, such as Farnesworth, built their success by taking a program and its grounds and working tirelessly from the ground up to make the team what it is today.
While building the program from the ground level may take some lumps and bruises, if it becomes as successful as Viewmont’s baseball team, then all the hard work pays off in the end.
But more importantly is the building of relationships between the coach and his players, and Farnesworth said he’ll miss that most of all.
If I ever get the opportunity to coach, which has been a dream of my own for some time, I hope to build something similar to the coaches of south Davis County sports.
I congratulate Farnesworth for his work ethic, and hopefully the next person to take his place will fill his shoes with the same passion.
Given what he’s built, I’d say those shoes are pretty big.