LAYTON -- As Layton Christian Academy continues its bounce between the 2-A and 1-A competition ranks, the school and its athletic teams have earned a reputation for hard, clean play in all their sports.
It's what drew first-year head coach Doyle Holt to the program.
And, under Holt's energetic leadership, it will continue to be a hallmark of the 2013 football squad.
"No matter what, we will play hard for four quarters," Holt said. "I am really proud of how hard these kids have worked to get ready for the season."
Holt is no newcomer to the Utah prep football coaching ranks, but is making his first foray into the smaller school classifications.
"First, I am impressed with how athletic the kids are," he said. "The kids have been going hard since May when we came to the school. We've even been able to borrow a couple of kids from the basketball team."
While LCA enjoyed up-and-down success the past couple of seasons, playing in the ultra-tough 2-A North league will test their depth.
"We have 41 kids, where South Summit, a real strong, well-run program might have 85-90 kids dress for games," Holt said. "That's and issue, but our first 25 kids are solid."
Offensively, the Eagles plan to create matchup problems by running a balanced attack and spreading the ball around.
Defensively, Holt predicts a sound base with an attacking mentality.
"We're going to be exciting on offense. We need to tackle better and that's something we identified and are working on," he said.
Sophomore Grayson Jackson figures to be the quarterback when the Eagles open up the season on Friday at Duchesne. Senior Ayan Burton, who has been dinged up, with also take snaps this season.
Junior team leader Marquis Gibson, and Bijan McCall and Bailey Kentner are several playmakers who will be heavily involved in the offense, whether at tailback or receiver.
Both sides of the ball will be manned by returning starters like Garrett Elmy and Josh Nistler, as well as newcomers Chris Henry and Jack Watson.
The rock in the middle with be senior Sam Rockwell, who Holt calls one of the strongest nose guards he's ever seen.
Basketball players LeRoy Sisnett and Quinn Witajera will also see action on both sides of the ball.
Other contributes will be Linus Karlsson, an exchange student from Finland, as well Brandon Apple and Auston Woodard.
"This is a fun league," Holt said. "I know some of the coaches from my days coaching at Granger. There are some tradition-rich winning teams. It will take us a couple of years to get there. But I am excited about what I see here. I am where I am supposed to be."
It all starts Friday at Duchesne.