Prep football: Darts hope winning tradition trumps inexperience
Wednesday , August 15, 2012 - 6:19 PM
KAYSVILLE — Davis is literally rolling out the carpet for their August 17 season opener against Brighton.
While the Darts are unveiling a snazzy new artificial playing surface, Davis is hoping to keep the product on the field the same.
With 543 all-time victories — the second most in state history behind West’s 551 — and 16 state championship game appearances over 96 seasons, the Darts will continue with their effective old school philosophy of running the football and playing a physical brand of defense in coach Ryan Bishop’s (71-52-1) twelfth year at the helm.
“Year in and year out we make tweaks on both sides of the ball,” Bishop said. “But our philosophy has never wavered. We talk to our kids about our plan to win by playing great defense, being efficient on offense and playing great special teams. If we have these things in place then we have a chance for success.”
The Darts return a fairly inexperienced group that Bishop anticipates will gel in time for the Region 1 battles buoyed by a preseason schedule that includes Viewmont, Cottonwood and Hunter in addition to the Bengals. Davis will also have the benefit of playing league rivals Syracuse , Fremont and Northridge on its home turf.
With only two returning starters on offense, the Darts will need its defense to carry a heavy load early on.
Along the defensive line, seniors Zach Guillaume, Luke Oja and Ricky Wright will man the tackle slots, with Davis Seaman and junior Kawika Tupuola on the ends. Tupuola recorded 29 tackles and three sacks a year ago as a sophomore.
The linebackers will be junior Davis Hanson along with seniors Jackson Peacock — second on the team with 63 tackles in 2011 — Ammon Harris, Ben Francom and Sumner Peterson.
Solidifying the secondary will be juniors Kyle Godderidge and Colton Chronister at cornerback along with Dillon Yocum. Chance Parker, Matt Morrell, Jonah White, Mickey Navidomskis and Nick Erickson will see action at safety.
On the offensive side of the ball, Gage Cook will assume the reins at quarterback and be charged with controlling the tempo and helping mold a unit lacking in varsity playing time under the lights. He will be backed up by Chronister.
The H-backs will be Colby Child, Seth Fortin and Godderidge with Ashton Reinhold and Parker Rose at fullback. Blocking up front will be guards Cooper Brown, Ben Bracken and Sam Christiansen. Sam Matina and Carlisle Findlay will see action at center with Wyatt Andersen, Jake Sessions and Zach Wright at offensive tackle.
Seaman, Taylor Avei and Mike Cantrell will line up as inside receivers at tight end with Trevor Leavitt, Abel Porter, Mitch Wilkes, Ryan Boyd and Collin Tibbetts split wide.
Andrew Fuller will handle both the kicking and punting duties.
“We’re going to have to fight, scratch and claw like everyone else in the region,” Bishop says. “We have got to play at the highest possible level as quickly as possible.
“Our kids are coachable and teachable and hopefully that translates. Time will tell how we execute and respond. I’m looking forward to getting thrown into the fire the next couple of weeks and seeing where we’re at.”