Prep football two-a-days: San Juan
A lot has happened since San Juan saw the Class 2A state championship game against Manti end on an overtime field goal last season.
Many of the Broncos' skill players graduated, taking with them years of experience and tradition. To put it more in perspective, San Juan lost more than 4,000 total yards and 50 touchdowns to graduation.
"It's rebuilding right now and finding out who we've got," Broncos coach Monty Lee said. "If you ask them, you can bet your life they'll say they're underrated. We're going to have to make adjustments and changes, but I think we're ready."
The cupboard isn't entirely bare. Terrance Tate will step in at quarterback and lead the offense. He'll be joined in the backfield by senior Jens Grover, sophomore Bronze Eldredge and junior Max Morley. Meanwhile, Chase Richmond, Ben Brewer and Braydon Giddings all return to anchor the line.
Eldredge already is attracting the attention of college recruiters.
"Tate is a smart kid and a hard worker who wants to win," Lee said. "I'll take a smart kid over a great passer any day. Our backfield is great. We've got everything from the little guy to the big guy. We've got big, strong kids up front."
With so many new faces, Lee doesn't anticipate his team scoring 406 points, as it did last season. However, he likes what he sees.
"We're going to revamp and try anything we can," he said. "We won't be the speed team we've been in the past. It's more finesse and power. We're not going to be that potent. It's more 3 yards and a cloud of dust. We're not looking for super big plays; just more ball control."
Defensively, the Broncos appear to be stout. San Juan allowed only 71 points, less than six points per game, last season.
Despite the notion that San Juan might be headed for a down year, Lee is excited about his team's potential.
"These kids are going to surprise a lot of people," he said. "They have to work hard and earn everything they get. We don't have 11 across the board talent. The goal is to be better today than yesterday."
San Juan opens the season Aug. 23 at Snow Canyon.
San Juan Broncos
ASSIGNMENT • Class 2A South
LAST YEAR • 11-1 overall, 7-0 Class 2A South
KEY RETURNER • Chase Richmond, center. One of three returning linemen, Richmond is one of the hardest working players his coach ever has had. He takes football in stride and wants to be the best that he can be.
PLAYERS TO WATCH • Bronze Eldredge, RB/LB. Talented sophomore already is garnering collegiate interest.
BIGGEST HOLE • Uncertainty. The players and coaching staff do not yet know how everything will mesh together this season.
NEED TO KNOW • Having graduated several top players, coaches and players alike are trying to find themselves. If they accomplish that by midseason, the team could reach its goal of playing football on the last day of the season.