SALT LAKE CITY — Students and alumni poured into Olympus High School’s gymnasium one last time Friday night to celebrate the final basketball game ever at one of the most cozy, unique and historic venues in the state.
The 60-year-old gym along with the rest of Olympus High School is set to be demolished in a few months, and the Titans sent the gym into retirement in grand style with a 58-45 victory over rival Skyline.
“It’s been an awesome ride,” said Olympus coach Matt Barnes, who was also a player at Olympus in the ‘80s. “Both schools came with a lot of support and it was a great way to shut it down.”
The victory clinched the 16th region title in school history for Olympus.
“We joke about it all the time. It’s one of the oldest gyms in the state. Eighty-four feet, boards going the wrong way,” said Barnes. “It’s unbelievable the atmosphere it creates.”
Olympus’ new gym will have a lot of the modern conveniences that have been lacking for years, but Barnes believes it can still have similar charm like its 60-year-old predecessor.
“It’s going to be nice, and I’m hoping we can still keep the same magic and keep the same atmosphere and environment, 'cause it’s a pretty fun place here. I think it’s going to be a pretty fun place over there too,” said Barnes. “The new school is going to be a beautiful place. But we don’t want to lose what we have here, so we’re going to take some old with us.”
Olympus has never won a basketball state title in its 60-year history, finishing second on several occasions, including last year. Barnes would love to see that drought end before the gym is officially torn down.
“We’re hopefully going to make a run at this thing, but there’s a lot of good teams out there,” he said.