ST. GEORGE — When bragging rights are on the line, you’ve got to get yourself a ringer.
At Saturday night’s annual municipal Mayor’s Cup flag football game played at Pine View High School, it was hard to tell who would come out ahead.
The friendly game pitted government officials and local superstar athletes from St. George and Washington City against each other.
On St. George’s sideline, led by veteran coach and mayor Michele Randall, you had the likes of former Dixie State standout baseball player Trey Kamachi, current Trailblazers basketball star Frank Staine and professional football player Abbey Rustand.
On Washington City’s sideline, rookie coach and mayor Kress Staheli started Utah Tech head football coach Paul Peterson at quarterback.
After the dust settled in the 42-28 victory for Washington City, it was a 10-year old from Horizon Elementary School who claimed MVP honors.
“I just wanted to show my skills,” Beckam Nielsen told St. George News after he collected two first-half touchdown passes from Peterson and completed a very nice catch-and-run in the third quarter.
Nielsen had numerous supporters on the Washington City sideline, including current Utah Tech defensive back Darrius Nash.
“He’s a stud,” Nash said. Nash added that he became kind of a mentor for young Nielsen after working out with him and seeing him at all of the football events.
In the end, both sides just wanted to have some fun and share some municipal camaraderie.
Police officers and fire department personnel from both city staffs participated, and a handful of them made big plays in the game.
The Mayor’s Cup is an ongoing tradition that is about bragging rights and friendship between the two cities.
“The game plan is to score more points than St. George,” Staheli said during a break on the sideline in the first half. “Set up my office to make the trophy the focal point. And really just to support this community!”
Staheli didn’t back down when addressing the stakes.
“Well, mostly I’m just going to talk trash,” the mayor said.
Mayor Randall, no stranger to the Mayor’s Cup competition, wasn’t backing down between halves either.
“Our game plan is to win,” she said. “That big old trophy is going back to City Hall.”
Randal liked the composition of her squad.
“We’ve actually had a practice,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of officers and community members and UTU players. We’ve got a good team. It’s all in fun.”
But in the end. the trophy went to Washington City.
Staheli was ecstatic. “It’s an absolute 365 days of bragging rights.”
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