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South Jordan Journal

Miner Magic: Fact or Fiction?

Aug 10, 2015 10:12AM ● By Bryan Scott

By Kaleb Loftus

Walk down the east halls of Bingham High School and you’ll pass trophy after trophy. It is hard not to be impressed by the Miner’s success in sports and academic competitions over the past 40 years. It could be luck, it could be the school’s location in the thriving city of South Jordan, or it could be a bit of Miner Magic. 

That’s the term coined for whenever Bingham students did something no one thought they could do or the moment when natural laws were somehow broken. But there is one thing though that Bingham High School wants everyone to know: its success is no miracle.

But is Miner Magic real? Is there more than good dancing behind the Minerettes’ four straight 5A drill titles or is there more than just the right talent coming together at the right time as the football team will try to three-peat in this upcoming season? Long time Bingham Miner and coach Joel Sato thinks it isn’t just a flip of a wand.  

He recalled the first time he truly saw Miner Magic was in 2003, as a heavily armed Taylorsville baseball team came to battle with the Miners in the 

state championship. “Our team was good, but they had 10 or 11 Division One baseball players on their team, and we had zero, a couple of our guys went and played junior college. On paper it was a big mismatch,” Sato said.

The Miners were doing their best just not to be embarrassed. In the bottom of the sixth the Miner Magic came to life. Slowly the scored went from 10-1 to 10-3, to 10-5, until eventually Taylorsville was only up 10-9. The Miners had two on base and then Bret Boyd comes and hits a three hit home run. And Bingham won 12-10.

There’s a noteworthy difference between a Miner Miracle and Miner Magic. “A miracle just falls on you out of the sky, but I don’t think they’re miracles. It’s a type of culture we have and promote here at Bingham High School. Where kids buy into the school, they work hard and pay the price. And it’s not just in sports either,” Sato said. 

Miner Magic is built from a legacy. It is a mindset, a culture that has formed from years and years of Miner excellence.  And it all started with the first Bingham Miner who believed he or she could do something no one else thought they could. “It is a product of long-time traditions, the legacy left behind by the incredible, dedicated people here at the school,” Sato said.

“When you look at it like that, it’s a culture that makes the magical things happen,” Sato said. The magic is made when a student studies hard and passes a chemistry test they didn’t think they could, or it’s the extra hours the Miners put in during the offseason when no coach is around. In essence, the Miners create Miner Magic. It isn’t a heavenly gift or favoritism. 

“If you take a look at it, it started in 1973. Ever since then almost every year we’ve had a championship, and some years multiple. The culture and success has just continued to grow ever since then,” Sato said. Just the idea of believing in Miner Magic affects Bingham’s performance on the field. “It’s a confidence builder, the expectation’s there.” 

The Miner’s never play in a small game. The expectation to be the best is there every year. Every set of eyes is always watching whoever has on the uniform with the M-I-N-E-R-S on it.  “The expectation is huge every time we go and play,” Sato said, attributing that expectations remaining high is what creates and sustains the culture.


ow do you create Miner Magic? “You buy into the school,” Sato said. Bingham High School, through excellent coaches, teachers and mentors will sustain the culture. But more importantly, it needs for the students and players to believe in their magic as much as the crowd believes in their miracles.

But, in the end, whether or not Miner Magic is real isn’t the question. The real question that each successful Miner asks himself or herself is, “Do I believe enough to try the impossible?” And the magic comes from there.