OGDEN — All Ben Lomond hears about in the offseason is 0-10. It’s what happens when you go winless, but for the Scots, 2018 is a chance to start anew.
So can the Scots rebound in 2018? Fifth-year head coach Eric Alder thinks so, as do the players. It starts with what’s in front of them, not what’s behind them.
“(We have to) not listen to outside opinions and to believe in what we believe, believe in the work we’ve put in, believe in our abilities, and to believe in each other,” Alder said.
There’s plenty of belief coursing through the veins of the Ben Lomond football players. Running back Zander Caffall says he thinks the Scots will be strong this year.
Quarterback Nykolas Guzman thinks Ben Lomond can get to the playoffs if the Scots realize their purpose.
“Everyone on the field has a purpose, and everyone needs to contribute to it and work together as a team to win games and to have a better season,” Guzman said. “If we don’t have that then we won’t have anything.”
Last year’s 0-10 record is deceiving in the way that five of those losses were by a combined 31 points. Two of them were overtime games and the other two were decided late against both Ogden and Park City.
“We just couldn’t get that last edge, that’s what people don’t see, they see our record. This year, I think we have the focus and the drive to get that last edge and get some wins,” Caffall said.
Players started wanting to get on the field in January to do some drills.
Alder said he has a group of about eight to 10 players this year who are constantly doing extra work outside of practice to get ready for the season, and that group is bigger than it’s ever been.
That’s how motivated the Scots are, but it’s not the only thing they have to do for a good season this year.
“No matter the scheme, it comes down to tackling,” Alder said. “Offense, you gotta block and defense you gotta get off blocks and make tackles. Regardless of the scheme it’s going to be our fundamentals and our toughness that make the difference.”
The Scots will always have the Iron Horse Game against Ogden circled on their calendar, if all else fails (see: 2014 season).
If Ben Lomond does rebound from last year’s season well enough, there’s a chance the rivalry might have higher stakes than in years past.
In 2001, the Scots beat Ogden 15-13 in the final regular-season game to force a 3A state play-in game and then beat the same Tigers again four days later in that game, 7-6.
In 1997, they met in the final game of the regular season with a home playoff game on the line, a game Ogden won 27-20. Three weeks later, the Scots would beat the Tigers 27-21 in the state semifinals.
Brett Barker is the new defensive coordinator. The Scots are changing their defense from a 3-4 to a 4-3.
Key stretch: Ben Lomond is on the road for three straight games in September: at Juab, at Park City in the region opener and at Tooele in another Region 11 game. If the Scots want to be in contention for a playoff spot, they have to win one of their region road games.