Two of Utah County’s powerhouse high school football teams are in Lehi, and up until this week, they have never played as region foes. Lehi’s 2023 population of 86,284 has dramatically impacted the enrollment at both high schools. Lehi High School’s increased enrollment has propelled the school into the 6A category, and the UHSAA moved Lehi High School into Region 3 alongside Skyridge High School.
With both schools holding the titles of 2022 state football champions in the 6A and 5A categories, Friday night lights at Lehi High School will be an exciting in-town matchup. There is no bigger game on the football calendar than this year’s September 22 battle between these Region 3 teams. With the number of students, parents, and fans who will want to attend the big game, crowd size, parking and safety must be addressed to keep the competition friendly and enjoyable.
“I can speak generally about the event at Lehi High this weekend. Our most experienced administrator, Principal Tim Brantley, is hosting the event. He has an exceptional administrative team, athletic director, school staff, and coaching staff familiar with this type of event, including events with considerable interest. We have great trust in the school and the community of Lehi. It takes a community and parents doing their part in the spirit of competition to support the student-athletes by responding in ways that demonstrate sportsmanship, kindness, and an assumption of goodwill,” said Kimberly Bird, Alpine School District, Executive Director of Internal Relations, Communications and Operations.
“In preparation for the event, we encourage those attending to plan for extra time, as we all know that traffic gets hectic on a Friday night around all high school games–and there is limited parking. We also recommend carpooling. Games have been available for online streaming for the last several years to accommodate those who want to watch them from the comfort of their home or another location. As a reminder, this game is available on KJZZ that evening,” Bird added.
Regarding the bleacher size on each side of the field, Bird said, “The visitor side on any of our athletic fields is smaller than the home side, and it will be necessary for fans of the visiting team (Skyridge) to be patient in understanding this reality. Likewise, the school administration at Skyridge is top-notch and recognizes their stewardship with their student body. We celebrate all our students engaging in events across the region and wish them well in their efforts, and we look forward to a fantastic football game.”
Keeping the football game respectful takes the community’s foresight, leadership, and planning. Alpine School District, Lehi High School, Skyridge High School and the Lehi Police Department have already collaborated to ensure the football contest will bring the Lehi community together.
Lehi City Chief of Police Darren Paul said, “The police department is working with both schools and the school district to ensure everyone’s safety for the Lehi vs. Skyridge football game.”
“The operations plan is still being worked out, but there has been no decision to limit attendance to the game. The plan is to move additional bleachers to accommodate a larger crowd on the visitors’ side. There will be an increased police presence during the game, and we will provide traffic control after the game,” added Paul.
“Lehi High School has limited seating available. We encourage people to consider watching the game on television. Parking is also limited, so carpooling, if possible, is helpful. Please respect our neighbors and follow all city parking and traffic rules,” said Tim Brantley, Principal of Lehi High School.
John Wallwork, Principal of Skyridge High School, is excited as this event provides an opportunity to unite the community. “Mr. Brantley’s staff at Lehi High School is organizing the logistics of this game, as Lehi is the host,” said Wallwork. The administration at Skyridge is confident that any concerns will be resolved and that the community will support the athletes.
“Skyridge will have extra resource officers and our full administrative team at the game. Skyridge has played games with large crowds in the past couple of years, but the Lehi facility will probably be an issue. As of right now, they haven’t requested any additional support for the game. The game will be televised on KJZZ, so maybe some of the crowd will stay home and watch in the comfort of their living room. It should be a fun high school football environment,” said Jon Lehman, Athletic Director at Skyridge High School.
“This should be a great night for a community football game. We hope the fans come and cheer for their teams and exhibit good sportsmanship toward the opposing team and their fans. Please make an effort to treat each other kindly and with dignity. We ask everyone to respect the game officials and the many good people helping staff the event,” added Brantley.
For athletes and fans, great rivalries represent sports at their most dramatic moments. Rival contests can inspire the best in athletes and teams and bring together communities in shared enthusiasm like few other public events. Let’s unify as a community to cheer on Lehi City’s football champions.
Lehi High School will host Skyridge at Pioneer Stadium at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online.
Skyridge fans: https://gofan.co/event/1060830?schoolId=UT86896
Broadcast on KJZZ (KMYU) Friday Night Rivals: https://kjzz.com/sports/high-school-football/thursday-night-lights-friday-night-rivals-broadcast-schedule-2023