KAYSVILLE -- While most of the notoriety surrounding this year's Davis Dart squad has been squarely focused on Brigham Young University committees Troy Hinds and Zach Lindsay, coach Ryan Bishop's staff has been busily orchestrating the other pieces of the puzzle.
"Our challenge as coaches, whether or not we have a lot of varsity experience, is to make sure (the team) is prepared," Bishop said. "We have a few less guys (returning) at our skill positions but we hope they've developed as they've come up. In high school, every year is a new scenario and a new team."
In the revamped six-team Region 1, the Darts figure to be in the mix for a league title, however the benefit of four preseason contests (compared to only one the previous two seasons) comes at the expense of a brutal league slate of games. Bishop is as interested as anyone to see how his squad responds.
"Our region went from tough to dang tougher because now there is parity all across the board," the eleventh-year Davis coach said. "Our number one thing is to evaluate and see what our kids do well and then tweak our schemes to fit. Especially where we have four non-league games we can develop our offense and have more of an evaluation period.
"I'm as apprehensive and curious as the next person. I'm looking forward to going down to Brighton (on Friday) because I want to see how we respond."
Following the graduation of three-year starter Gavin Fowler, senior Tyson Denney will slide into the quarterback role. He will throw to a pair of seniors in Karter Chisholm and Corby Fuhriman. Jace Olsen and Colby Child will also see time at wideout.
The inexperienced Davis backfield, featuring seniors Logan Thomas and Mark Christiansen, totaled only 23 carries a year ago. Juniors Ammon Harris, Ashton Reinhold and Sumner Peterson will provide depth. Whichever player emerges figures to get ample opportunity as the Dart attack has featured a back surpassing 900 yards rushing five years straight.
Doing the dirty work up front will be an experienced offensive line featuring three returning starters, led by the 6-foot-7, 315-pound Lindsay. He will be joined by Spencer Rudolph and Brady Roth with Joe Jessop, David Steed and David Packer. Hinds and Austin Smith will see action at tight end.
"We're trying to figure out what we can do around (the offensive line)," Bishop said. "One thing we've really tried to focus on is being physical and getting off the ball up front. With their experience, we hope they can do that."
On the defensive side of the ball, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Hinds figures to cause plenty of havoc from his defensive end spot after recording 58 tackles and 7.5 sacks a year ago. In addition to Hinds, Bishop likes his collection of rush ends, which includes Kenny Ballard, Davis Seaman and Wyatt Anderson. Mitch Spjut, Moroni Iniguez, sophomore Kawika Tupuola, Luke Oja and Zach Guillaume will all see time as interior linemen.
Senior Rossiter Porter brings the most experience at linebacker and will line up with Carter Kloberdanz and Jackson Peacock. The cornerbacks will be Kyle Green, Kyle Godderidge, Chance Parker and Connor Harris with Carson Beyer, Austin Beazer and Mason Bledsoe at safety.
Denney will handle the punting duties, while Bishop has three players vying to be the placekicker.
"We're at the point where we're excited about the first game and it's time to line up against another team," Bishop said. "You can only practice and condition so much and at some point you have to put the product out on the field and let the chips fall where they may."
About the Darts
Coach: Ryan Bishop (11th season)
2010 in review: 7-1 Region 1; 8-2 overall, lost to Jordan 52-7 in the first round of the state 5-A playoffs
Returning starters: 6 (4 offense, 2 defense)
Players to watch: Tyson Denney, senior, quarterback/punter; Troy Hinds, senior, tight end/defensive end; Zach Lindsay, senior, offensive line; Spencer Rudolph, senior, offensive line; Brady Roth, senior, offensive line; Rossiter Porter, senior, linebacker; Kyle Green, senior, cornerback; Logan Thomas, senior, running back; Mark Christiansen, senior, running back.