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South Valley Journal

High School Football Returns

Aug 23, 2016 04:24PM ● By Greg James

Riverton High School football team hopes to rebound from its worst season since 2008.— dsandersonpics.com

By Greg James | gregj@mycityjournals.com
           
As the 2016 high school football season begins, high schools in the South Valley are focused on making this their year.
 
Herriman, Summit Academy and Riverton high schools laid claim to a championship, disappointment and accusation last season. All three teams and coaches are excited the new season is finally here.
 
Herriman
 
The Mustangs trophy case is slightly more crammed with its accomplishments from last season, but the team and coaches know this is a new season. They have adopted the slogan “Nobody cares, work harder.”
 
They finished last season 11-3 overall and defeated Lone Peak in the 5A state championship game 17-14, but a majority of that team graduated. The team only returns seven starters on both sides of the ball.
 
One key returner is junior quarterback Hayden Reynolds. He threw for 751 yards and eight touchdowns, but the Mustang pro-style offense usually relies on the strong running game to move the ball. Noah Vea could be the workhorse in the backfield. He contributed two touchdowns in the Mustangs opening-night victory over Brighton 26-16 on Aug. 19.
 
Vea will be a key contributor on defense also. He recorded 12 interceptions last season. Vea was First-Team All-State in 2015.
 
The Mustangs have been reminded several times by their coaching staff that they have a target on their backs this season.
 
The City Journals sports staff picks the Mustangs to finish in second place in Region 4.
 
Summit Academy
 
The Bears received great news back in May when the Utah High School Activities Association overturned a postseason ban placed on them earlier in the year based on allegations of influencing students (recruiting). With that in the past, the team can concentrate on the goal of a state championship.
 
Several new things are in store for the Bears as they start a new season: a new coach, playing field and quarterback, to name a few.
 
Les Hamilton was hired as the second head coach for the Bears. He has earned two state titles at Alta and most recently coached at Pleasant Grove. He brings with him a high-powered, full-speed spread offense to the Bears’ system.
 
Last season, Justin Miller threw for more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns. Hamilton brings with him his son senior Isaac Hamilton to be the Bears new quarterback. His three years of experience in his father's offense should be invaluable.
 
The newly installed playing surface provides a vast improvement to the Bears’ program. They will host defending 2A North region champions South Summit Sept. 30.
 
The City Journals sports staff prediction is third in the 2A North region.
 
Riverton
 
Overcoming a 2-8 season is the Silverwolves’ No. 1 goal. Second-year head coach Brent Hawkins will rely on the experience his players earned last season to help carry them through this year.
 
Last season’s two wins were the least since 2004 for the Silverwolves. It snapped 10 straight playoff appearances.
 
The Silverwolves wing-t offense returns only two starters from last season. Their style of offense is deceptive and difficult to defend, making them hard to prepare for. The quarterback and running backs play key roles in its run-first offense. Ryan King’s athletic ability has promoted him to the front-runner as the starting quarterback.
 
Defensively, the Silverwolves return four starters from last season. The loss of graduate Simeon Page, an All-State linebacker, leaves a hole in the defense. Returning lineman Jordan Summerville and Tanner Vernon will need to fill the void to stop the high-powered offenses in Region 4.
 
The City Journals sports staff picks Riverton to finish sixth in Region 4.

 

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