BRIGHAM CITY — If you want to know who Box Elder’s quarterback will be a year in the future, there’s a pretty simple formula. Just look at who is playing safety.
Senior Jeremy Kaleikini has been tabbed as the team’s starting quarterback for this upcoming season, marking the fourth straight year the starting quarterback is someone who played safety the year before.
Box Elder coach Robbie Gunter said the trend isn’t part of an overall philosophy, but rather the result of trying to find the best kid to play quarterback. Gunter said Kaleikini’s athleticism and intelligence make him a strong choice to lead the offense.
2017 FOOTBALL PREVIEWS
Kaleikini was third on the team in tackles last year (92) and recorded a team-high five interceptions. Gunter said he will continue playing safety this season.
“We have a system where we believe we can train them, teach them by watching film,” Gunter said.
The system has proven effective. The Bees have qualified for the playoffs seven straight years.
One challenge for Box Elder as it tries to continue that success in 2017 will be a low number of seniors. The Bees have only 18 seniors. Gunter said the team typically has 25 to 30. Gunter said the reasons for the low numbers are “a little bit of everything,” but emphasized that he’s excited for the players that are there.
“I know that it’s a bunch of kids that are anxious to have their turn wearing the purple and white,” Gunter said.
Gunter said Hardy might play safety this year.
“He’ll be close to the ball to tackle people. I know that,” Gunter said.
Gunter is happy the new Region 5 no longer includes East, but not for the reasons some may think.
“Driving into Salt Lake on a bus in September at 4:30, 5 o’clock and sitting in traffic is annoying, and I hated those bus rides,” Gunter said. “On a Thursday afternoon, our kids get caught in traffic trying to get home from a JV game. That’s the reason I’m grateful.”
Losing East doesn’t mean a spot in the playoffs will necessarily be easier, though. Gunter doesn’t think any team in Region 5 can be taken for granted.
“There’s always a couple of teams that are at the bottom that are struggling, that are starting over, that are getting a new coach, whatever. In this region there’s five teams and all five teams are, I think, pretty good,” Gunter said.
BOX ELDER 2017 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
(*Region 5 game)
Friday, Aug. 18: at Layton
Friday, Aug. 25: at Bear River
Friday, Sept. 1: at Mountain Crest
Friday, Sept. 8: Pocatello-Idaho
Friday, Sept. 15: Bountiful*
Friday, Sept. 22: at Viewmont*
Friday, Sept. 29: Clearfield
Friday, Oct. 6: Roy*
Friday, Oct. 13: at Woods Cross*
Wednesday, Oct. 18: Bonneville
WEDNESDAY’S PREVIEW: LAYTON LANCERS