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Affluence biggest factor in determining 2019 high school state champions By Justin Adams | justin.a@thecityjournals.com

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t the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, I wrote an article about how different criteria— enrollment, graduation rate, affluence—impact a Utah high school’s chances of winning a state championship. The conclusion was that the affluence of a high school’s community was the single-biggest determinant in how successful that school would be in sports competition. Toward the end of the piece, I made the prediction that in the coming school year, the same (wealthier) schools would continue to win championships and “everyone else will get the proverbial participation trophy.” So, was that prediction correct? Yes and no. On one hand, some of the least affluent Utah high schools took home state championship trophies much more often this year than in past years. The bottom 10 5A and 6A schools (as measured by participation in reduced price lunch programs) averaged 1.6 state championships between 2013 and 2017. However, that same group of schools won four state championships in the 201819 school year (East, West, Cottonwood and Provo each earned one trophy). On the other end of the spectrum, the most affluent schools along the Wasatch Front continue to dominate. The 10 wealthiest schools accounted for a total of 20 state championships (55 percent of the total), and

Corner Canyon High makes for an especially interesting case study. In just its sixth year of existence, the Chargers won four state championships, including girls soccer seen here, the second-most of any school in 5A or 6A. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

13 of those come from just two schools: Corner Canyon and Lone Peak. Those schools are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively when it comes to the lowest rates of students using reduced price lunches. Corner Canyon High makes for an especially interesting case study. In just its sixth year of existence, the Chargers won four state championships, the second-most of any school in 5A or 6A. This seems to suggest

that community wealth is more important than even program legacy or school longevity. Lone Peak, meanwhile, continues to widen the divide between itself and the rest of the state. Between 2012 and 2017, the school won 15 state championships, one more than the next highest school, Skyline. In 2018-19, the school won nine state championships, more than twice as much as any other school.

Rob Cuff, the executive director of the Utah High School Activities Association, told the City Journals last year that the organization is not concerned about unequal results on the field. “I think it’s important to maintain a level playing field,” he said, “but our mission is all about participation. If teams are fielding sports teams and students have the opportunity to play, that’s the most important.” l

Desert Star’s latest parody takes on the Disney phenomenon High School Musical, with a Utah cultural twist. This zany parody opens June 13th and it’s a hilarious musical melodrama for the whole family you don’t want to miss!

“Sunday School Musical: The Greatest Roadshow!” Plays June 13th –August 24th, 2019 Check website for show times: www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com Tickets: Adults: $26.95, Children: $15.95 (Children 11 and under)

4861 S. State Street, Murray, UT 84107 Call 801.266.2600 for reservations For additional information, visit our website at www.DesertStarPlayhouse.com

Page 28 | July 2019

This show, written by Ed Farnsworth, based on the original melodrama by Ben Millet and directed by Scott Holman, follows the story of an eclectic group of LDS Sunday School Students as they attempt to put on a traditional “roadshow.” The colorful characters include social media obsessed Penny, her “too-cool-for-Sunday-school” boyfriend Phineas, a Napoleon Dynamite look alike, and a mustached Marvel fan-girl. When Penny doesn’t land the role of her dreams, she gets madder than an Instagram model with zero ‘hearts’. Fuel is only added to the fire when Phineas defies his adolescent apathy to sing with passion and snag the male lead. Jealous Penny makes plans to sabotage the roadshow musical by threatening to destroy Phineas’ reputation. Can Phineas and the rest of the cast overcome the odds to put together the greatest show Utah county has ever seen? Comedy, romance, and adventure are all on the docket for this delightful send up of the Disney franchise, as well as topical humor torn from today’s headlines. “Sunday School Musical: The Greatest Roadshow” runs June 13th through August 24th, 2019. The evening also includes one of Desert Star’s side-splitting musical olios, following the show. The “On the Road Again Olio” features hit songs and musical steps from the ultimate road trip playlist, mixed with more of Desert Star’s signature comedy. Food is available from an á la carte menu and is served right at your table. There is also a full service bar. The menu includes gourmet pizza, fresh wraps, appetizers, and scrumptious desserts.

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