Bingham football to play arguably the toughest schedule in Utah, headlined by a home game vs No. 4 team in AmericaJun 06, 2023 10:32AM ● By Brian Shaw
If you ask Bingham head coach Eric Jones, Bingham football may have the toughest road to hoe in Utah high school football. Or blast through, as the case may be for a Miners team coming off one of the most successful seasons in years.
“We play arguably one of the toughest schedules in the state,” Jones said.
Jones may not be wrong here. If you thought the weather was tough, you haven’t seen Bingham’s football schedule for the 2023-24 school year.
Calculus has got nothing on the Miners first few games.
First off, a rematch from last year’s 6A quarterfinal classic at Bingham takes shape at Lone Peak to open the season on Aug. 10.
Bingham has its home opener on Aug. 18 against Crimson Cliffs, a school out of Southern Utah that was last year’s 4A championship runner-up.
And that’s just the Miners’ first two games.
The third game on Aug. 26 is a home game, and will pit Bingham against legendary national power Mater Dei out of Southern California that is currently ranked in the Top 5 in the nation. It is the top half of a home-and-home series, and it will be played at Ron Thorne Stadium.
The fourth game, however, may have just as many fireworks as the third.
The Miners will travel to Skyridge, the 6A champions and the team that knocked Bingham out of the 6A semifinals at Rice-Eccles Stadium, Sept. 1.
The fifth game on the schedule, the last on Bingham’s non-region schedule, will also be the Miners second straight game on the road as they head to American Fork on Sept. 8.
In all five of Bingham’s preseason tilts, the Miners will be playing a 6A quarterfinalist, a 4A runner-up, the No. 4 team in America, the defending 6A champions and a 6A quarterfinalist.
But, there’s a reason the math might look a bit off to some. According to Jones, Bingham was going to be stuck with a week 3 bye and had to do something.
“That last version of region realignment [in January] really caused us some scheduling headaches,” Jones explained in an interview with City Journals. “We lost 3 of our pre-season games and had a difficult time finding opponents.
“That's how a 4A Crimson Cliffs, Skyridge, and Mater Dei came to be … I tried Idaho schools, Colorado, Arizona, and Utah and couldn't find anyone with an opening. That's where Mater Dei came in.”
For the Miners, weeks six through 10 will see some let-up in Bingham’s schedule—though region games are still tough. For the 2023-24 school year, Bingham has been placed in Region 2 in the new UHSAA realignment.
The Miners will stay in 6A, however, they will now compete with Riverton, Mountain Ridge, Corner Canyon, Copper Hills and Herriman for a Region 2 title.
In the Miners third straight game on the road, they’ll travel to Copper Hills on Sept. 15 in what will also mark their Region 2 opener.
Sept. 22 will see Bingham head back out on the road for the fourth straight week, for a cross-valley showdown with Herriman.
The following week will see the Miners play their first home game in over a month when they host crosstown rivals Riverton on Sept. 29.
Oct. 6 is bound to be a showdown for the ages as Bingham heads up to Corner Canyon to take on Isaac Wilson and Co.
And on Oct. 13, the Miners close out one of the most difficult schedules in recent memory as they host Mountain Ridge on Senior Night.
“It's going to be a great opportunity to develop and face great competition from week 1 through 10,” Jones said. λ