Why were sports banned in Hildale, Utah? Take a look behind the story of the first football game.

The Salt Lake Tribune analyzes coverage of the first football team in the former FLDS home town.

(Trent Nelson | Salt Lake Tribune) The team captains of Water Canyon High School will line up for a coin toss before facing Grand County at Hildale on Friday, August 12, 2022. From left, Dylan Horsley, Nick Timpson, Lester Barlow, and Johnny Timpson.

For years, sports were banned in the small Utah town of Hildale.

But now, a community once home to polygamous fundamentalist Latter-day Saints has formed its first football team. The high school boys played their first match last month.

Take a look inside our story here — you can read the full report here — and how the town got there.

Why is this unusual for town?

The sister community of Hildale in southern Utah and the city of Colorado on the Arizona border forms what is called “Short Creek.”

The area was settled by members of the FLDS faith in the early 1900s. They fled from there and came there as a place to practice their beliefs freely.

The group split from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints agreed to ban polygamy to appease the U.S. government.

FLDS believers viewed polygamy as a fundamental and important principle of their faith, as established by the church’s founder, Joseph Smith. And they didn’t want to give it up.

For years they practiced polygamy and followed their own leaders.

In 2002, Warren Jeffs became the FLDS community’s new prophet. And he made his strict faith even stricter. He banned most “modern” things: sports, the internet, public education, books, music, television.

Due to these edicts, there were no schools or community sports teams, and most of the town followed his instructions.

However, over time, especially since Jeffs’ imprisonment in 2011, many in Hildale have left the FLDS faith.

The town slowly secularized. In 2014, public high schools opened for the first time in over a decade. In 2015 they hosted their first basketball game. And in 2017, Hildale officially elected the first non-FLDS mayor.

This year marks the biggest sporting event ever held in Hildale, a football game at Water Canyon High School on August 12th.

Many of the boys on the team have families who left the FLDS faith, and being able to compete on the ballpark for the first time was a big and welcome change, they said.

does anyone show up? can they win?

Coach Heber Horsley was nervous before the game. A few years ago, at the first basketball game, the parents in the crowd were silent.

And most of the boys on the team have never played soccer before.

Who is on your roster?

Many of Hildale are related and share the same last name: of the 36-player football team, nine have the surname Barlow and three have the town’s most common last name, Jessop.

Here’s the full roster of all the boys in the first team.

What was it like being there?

Reporter Courtney Tanner and photographer Trent Nelson traveled to Hildale to watch the first game.

Nelson has covered the area for over 20 years and has witnessed its transformation firsthand.

It was a first for Tanner, and she loved seeing the excitement. The community welcomed both of us and many were happy to talk about their hopes for the team.

It was amazing to see the stadium lights illuminate the field, the grass planted in red dirt, and the ragged butte painted behind the stands. is.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *