BOUNTIFUL -- Is it finally our time?
After winning three of his final four Region 1 games as a first-year football coach at Viewmont in 2009, that question must be running through Brad Lloyd's mind during every practice heading into the 2010 season.
Although last year's 6-2 effort in Region 1 bought the Vikings a lot of respect, their string of five consecutive winning seasons in league play has zero championships to show for it.
Lloyd is confident his team can change that in a hurry.
"I know it's a cliche, but right now our biggest goal is to play together as a team," Lloyd said. "Last year we did well, but we had a few 'me' guys and I really think that hurt us down the stretch when we had to play in the playoffs."
Although most coaches hate to lose too many starters heading into a new season, Lloyd thinks his young squad will be hungrier for it, with most players all vying for a starting spot.
Most positions are available on offense, where the Vikings return only two starters from 2009. The quarterback battle is still up in the air (no pun intended), where senior Jake Gibbs and Mason Paul are both taking snaps after three days of practice in full pads.
Whoever wins will likely target junior receiver Haden Heath and senior tight end Adam Hewlett. Tailback is also up for grabs, but Logan Edmunds has taken the lead at the fullback position.
"Despite how those positions play out, we are still going to do what we always do," Lloyd said. "We are going to probably be around 60 percent run and 40 percent pass. We are capable of pounding the ball and controlling the clock, but we want to be diverse, too."
Defense is where Viewmont returns the bulk of its starters. Lloyd admits that, although he has primarily been an offensive-oriented coach most of his career, it's usually defense that wins championships.
"If we can be in ball games defensively, especially early, when our offense is still finding its rhythm, we have a chance in every game."
Viewmont brings back six defensive starters.
Hewlett should bring a great deal of pressure at defensive end and sizable senior tackle Steven Tingey will help Hewlett anchor the defensive line.
Defensive backs Dane Hansen, Brayden Evans, Carson Buhler and Heath also saw game time in 2009 and should contribute.
Despite returning zero linebackers, athletically-speaking, the Vikings run a tight ship (also no pun intended) and should be able to fill the spots easily.
Lloyd takes pride in his team's fitness, which he feels will keep them in every single game, despite a lack of experience.
"It's a matter of respect. If we can beat our opponents physically, we can always hold our heads high, no matter what the outcome of the game."
Viewmont opens its season on Aug. 20. vs. defending state 5-A champion Bingham at home.
About the Vikings
Coach: 2009 in review: Returning starters: Players to watch:
2009 in review:
Players to watch:Adam Hewlett, senior, defensive end/tight end; Haden Heath, junior, wide receiver/strong safety; Logan Edmunds, senior, fullback/defensive end; Jake Gibbs, senior, quarterback/wide receiver; Steven Tingey, senior, defensive tackle; Brayden Evans, senior, defensive back. 8 (2 offense, 6 defense)6-2 Region 1; 6-5 overall, lost to Cottonwood 23-7 in first round of 5-A playoffsBrad Lloyd (second year)