Christmas is coming, college football is bowling and our three Region 11 football programs are busy reloading for next season. High school football never ends — especially when it comes to physical conditioning. To be more competitive, all three teams require player dedication in the weight room. Coupled with personal character and team leadership, this leads to competitive greatness which is a top priority for our county football squads.
Tooele High School has nowhere to go but up and they are looking forward to the challenge. Head coach Kyle Brady is trying to herd the Buffaloes back to their winning ways and Zac Coffman will be returning to help. As a defensive back, he had 43 tackles and four sacks while on offense he had seven receptions and a touchdown. Andrew Spendlove will be returning as a tight end. He led the Buffaloes in receiving with 229 yards and two touchdowns. The defense will build off of linebacker Seth Manning, while the line will look to Tony Leakehe, another junior. THS is young and searching for a foothold in Region 11 play. The Buffaloes had one first team all region player in senior Tyler McMain. a full back and strong-side linebacker.
The Buffaloes challenge is to gain some confidence and get the team moving in a positive direction. Coach Brady will find the answers and look to a more competitive season in 2012.
Stansbury is reloading with a number of returning starters, including Region 11 MVP Chase Christiansen. The sophomore quarterback led the Stallions to the Region Championship rushing for 1149 yards and 19 touchdowns, while passing for an additional 527 yards and four touchdowns. He will be joined by Dacota Case, a junior running back and defensive back who also received Region first team honors collecting five interceptions this season. Both he and Christiansen are garnering other post-season accolades as Christmas approaches.
The Stallions have a stable full of Region first teamers returning next season. Jackson Clausing rushed for over 600 yards and five touchdowns. Colton May lead the team with 103 tackles. Chandler Staley averaged 5.4 yards per carry along with 63 tackles. Allan Havili will anchor the line at 6’3” and weighing in at 290 pounds this season.
Graduating seniors receiving first team Region honors were linemen Atu Havili and Hunter Anderson (defensive end). Stansbury’s Jeremy Café was the Region Defensive MVP and is garnering other post season honors throughout the state. The 6’1”, 175-pound defensive end had 27 tackles and 13 sacks his senior year.
By the looks of it, Stansbury High School is in a good position to defend its title and is the team to beat in Region 11 in 2012.
Grantsville High School is determined to do just that. The Cowboys are returning 18 starters next season led by team captain Skyler Cloward, who was named Region 11 Offensive MVP, which is a rare feat for an offensive lineman. Don’t be fooled, he can play defense too as the linebacker amassed 96 tackles, seven sacks, one interception, caused one fumble and recovered two others, not to mention blocking a couple of punts and scoring a couple of touchdowns. The 6’1”, 210 pound linebacker is all ready getting looks from in-state college football programs. Other post season awards continue to come his way as we draw near the Christmas break.
Grantsville’s quarterback Max Cook is a Region first teamer and is receiving other state honors as well. Cook threw for over 1000 yards and rushed for 383 yards and a couple of touchdowns. Defensively he had 43 tackles and one interception. Ky Fisher is a sophomore running back and linebacker making a name for himself as an All-Region player. Fisher rushed with 343 yards and ten touchdowns for the Cowboys while leading the team with 106 tackles. Other Region first team picks were Kelby Landon and Kaleb Ware. Landon had 34 tackles as a defensive back, while Ware averaged 4 yards a carry and had 50 tackles from his outside linebacker spot.
The Cowboys say goodbye to senior offensive lineman and Region first teamer Dakota Leetham and wide receiver Dalen Erickson. Both are getting looks from college teams as well as receiving other state post-season awards.
Head Coach Tony Cloward has turned the corner with a young team and a winning season. He expects more in 2012 and just by looking, the Cowboys chances seem pretty good.
So there you go. Enjoy the Christmas season and make sure you give all of our county athletes heartfelt thanks when you see them. To be a successful athlete takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice. They deserve your praise! I’ll see you from the sidelines.