BOUNTIFUL — The question: how will Farmington High’s opening affect sports participation numbers at Viewmont High?
The answer: not much for the football team — at the current moment anyway.
Vikings head coach Scott Ditty estimates the varsity roster will be smaller by seven to eight players and the sophomore roster will be smaller by about 15 players.
Yet that’s not where the biggest difference in team dynamic lies this year.
“Last year we had great size ... this year we don’t have the overall size; however, I believe that our overall team speed is actually a notch up from last year,” Ditty said.
The two-time defending region champions appear bent on making it three in a row.
The Vikings lost plenty of players on offense — most notably 1,346-yard rusher Cameron Brown — but the team doesn’t give off a sense that they’re rebuilding.
“We have a lot of speed and we’re really good on the skill positions,” senior tight end Aaron Bredsguard said. “Up front, we have a couple returning guys so I think we’ll be pretty squared away there, too.”
Bredsguard has a football scholarship offer from Utah State, but he’s not the only Viewmont player on the radar of Division-I coaches.
Junior left tackle Alex Harrison, a two-year returning starter, also has a Utah State offer and VHS head coach Scott Ditty said coaches from USC, Utah, Boise State, Oregon, Oregon State, Colorado, Wyoming and more have reached out inquiring about Harrison.
Harrison, listed at 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, is not ranked or rated by any of the major recruiting websites but by this time next year, Ditty estimates Harrison will have several offers.
Also giving the Vikings confidence: seven starters return from a defense that allowed 18.1 points per game last year.
Ditty praised how well his team played in summer 7-on-7 tournaments and especially pointed out the secondary as part of the success.
It would be eight returning starters if safety Dutcher Lines was still playing on defense, but he’s been moved to quarterback where he played at the junior varsity and sophomore levels.
Despite a region schedule featuring mostly tough matchups, Lines says the Vikings’ season is all in their hands.
“If we lose, it’s probably going to be our own fault because we have the team to go all the way. We just need to put it all together and work together,” Lines said.
History isn’t on their side. Since a run to the state championship game in 1980, Viewmont is 11-26 in playoff games, including a rough go the past three seasons.
The Vikings shared the region title in 2016 with Syracuse and Davis and got blown out at Jordan, 63-20, on the road.
Last year Viewmont went unbeaten in Region 5, hosted the fourth-seeded Beetdiggers and lost 28-20 on its home field.
“Our goal is to go deep. We’ve been bumped out of the playoffs in the first round the last couple years, which is extremely frustrating,” Ditty said.
Justin Spencer is the new offensive coordinator. This is the same Justin Spencer who was the Woods Cross head coach from 2012-16, where he accumulated a record of 39-21 with two region championships and two appearances in the 4A state semifinals.
Key stretch: Viewmont’s final two games are against local rivals Bountiful and Woods Cross.
Ditty-Ditty: Scott Ditty became Viewmont’s head coach in 2014 and the Vikings won three games. Each year since, they upped their win total.