EDITOR’S NOTE • This is one in a series of previews of Utah’s high school football programs. They will run throughout the summer leading up to the 2014 regular season, which begins Aug. 21.
Forty-seven and zero.
This isn’t just Duchesne’s record — it is the program’s legacy.
The Eagles haven’t lost a game since August 27, 2010 (a span of 47 straight wins), and coach Jerry Cowan has worked his players into shape for another potentially perfect season. He knows they are the game circled on everyone else’s calendar, and so do his players.
“Other teams are using our success as motivation, but our kids keep playing to win,” Cowan said. “It’s definitely an advantage for us to have that mental edge.”
Duchesne has an embarrassment of riches in its quarterback selection process. Speedy Wyatt Remund and brutish Carson Reinhardt are trying to win the job, but Cowan has another job for the non-selected player. Remund is a sure-handed WR with excellent speed and Reinhardt is a big, tough TE that could make plays for the Eagles.
“Both guys are doing a really good job of working with each other,” Cowan said. “Whoever gets selected will have a natural weapon for him.”
Cowan is very excited about both the offensive and defensive lines, with five returning starters on both sides of the ball.
Running the wing-T offense, tailbacks Dylan Despain and Layne Coil will get a lot of touches. Cowan said both players are fast and durable.
Defensively, Cowan is looking towards slimmed-down lineman Jaxson Nelson (now at 260 pounds) and linebacker Anthony Peterson to make big stops for Duchesne.
“Peterson is the heart and soul of this team — kind of our sparkplug,” Cowan said. “Definitely plays with a lot of passion and excitement.”
Duchesne travels to Layton Christian on Aug. 21 to begin its title defense.
Last season • 13-0 overall (3-0 in 1A South; won state title)
Key returner • Dylan Despain will be in both the offensive backfield as well as middle linebacker. A big hitter with speed (he’s the Class 1A record-holder in the 100 meters), expect Despain to be a threat anywhere near the ball.
Players to watch • Lineman Jaxson Nelson dropped weight to get to 260 pounds. With his quicker speed on the defensive line, Nelson should be a hard-hitting tackler that can take over games.
Biggest hole • The team hasn’t yet settled on a QB, with Wyatt Remund and Carson Reinhardt battling it out. In typical Duchesne fashion, even this can be a positive, as the player who loses the QB battle will still see plenty of action, as Remund can play TE and Reinhardt is a talented WR.
Need to know • Despain, Remund and Layne Coil all competed at the 100 meters. Duchesne will be an incredibly fast team that will try and run teams into the ground.