The lower half of the Top of Utah is set and ready to make a go of it in both the 5-A and 4-A classifications. With perennial power Bountiful, up and coming Woods Cross and a rebuilding Viewmont laying in the wait, these teams should improve on both sides of the ball and will try to revamp and tweek things before the start of the season.
Here's a breakdown of the Vikings, Braves and Wildcats:
Coach Larry Wall is never without talent.
Combine that with his prowess as a top notch coach and you get teams that are consistently in the playoffs and semifinals.
The Braves are primed and ready to make another run at a state championship, their first since 2003. Leading the way with a solid rushing attack will be Jakob Hunt. Hunt is a solid, every down back that can do it all. He cemented his status last year as a starter with one of the most impressive performances of last year's playoffs, a 200-plus rushing attack with two touchdowns.
While Hunt may be the back of the future at Bountiful, there is a question of who will be the starting signal caller under center. Juniors Trevor Lloyd and Jordan Hayes are locked in a heated battle for the starting spot. The battle was still going on by press time.
Defensively, the Braves are once again going to be a great defensive unit, something that they lacked last year in some key games. Up front, senior big man Junior Hamilton will be the feature fixture of the defense while Rylee Gautavai, who is receiving big interest from some D1 schools will hold down the linebackers and get things set up for a quick defense to make some plays.
The Wildcats are going to be a contender this year and the biggest reason for their success will come in the hands of Sean Barton. Barton is easily the best player in the state this year and he will play every down from the running back position and as an outstanding linebacker. The 6-3, 225 pound player has been clocked as one of the fastest sprinters in the state and he will use that to his advantage.
The offense will also rely heavily on returning starting quarterback Skylar Farnes, a duel-threat to both throw and run the ball when not giving the rock to Barton. Alton Brown is the yin to Barton's yang. He also has speed that makes the duo the best backfield in the state.
Tight end Filipo Mokofisi will provide a huge target for Farnes to throw to and Mokofisi will also be featured on the other side of the ball as well.
Besides Barton and Brown, defensive end Jake Kocherhans will be big on the edge and provide a much needed pass rush that will allow his counterparts to make plays and force turnovers.
The steadiness of having five returning starters on both sides of the ball will prove to be of value in a stacked Region 6 title chase.
The Vikings were the toast of Region 2 last year, but graduated a senior heavy class that did everything and anything they need to in order to be successful.
This year's group will try to fill the void left by those region champions and will have some experience back in the form of Mitch Dalley, who will be a two-position player at running back and wide receiver. Alex Holmes will be right alongside Dalley in the backfield or out wide. Senior quarterback David Black will put the offense in motion this year and he will be able to get the ball to Dalley and Holmes, as well as senior tight end Paul Teisina. Teisina will also see time at linebacker as a two-way player.
The defense will get help from Taylor Davis at the defensive end position as well as Colton Hadley from one of the linebacker positions. Blake Williams is a sound defensive back and will also see time as a wide receiver to help the Vikings try to get back to the top of the region heap.