The American Fork football team struggled to a 3-7 record last season, but there's reason to believe this season will be different.
Coach Aaron Behm is entering his fourth season with the team. The team struggled when he installed a triple-option offense in his first season, but it improved in the second season running the offense, making the playoffs in 2011.
Behm realized he had players better suited to the passing game in 2012, so he made the switch to the West Coast offense. Like his first year coaching, the team struggled as it learned the new system.
"That took some adjusting, going back and forth to another new system," Behm said.
Like the Cavemen's second year in the triple-option, their second year in the West Coast offense should be more successful than their first. They certainly have the players to make it happen.
Senior quarterback Jacen Condie started four games last season and brings some experience to that position.
"Jacen distributes the ball and gets it where it needs to go," Behm said. "And he gets it there on time and quickly."
He will have two main targets this season: senior wide receiver Jonah Trinnaman, who runs the 40-yard-dash in 4.5 seconds and has a Utah State scholarship offer; and junior tight end Nate Heaps, who will provide matchup problems at 6 foot 4.
Combine those two players catching the ball with the return of last year's leading rusher who will be just a junior this season Zach Katoa and the Caveman offense looks formidable. A return to the playoffs is not unreasonable.
American Fork Cavemen
ASSIGNMENT • Region 4
LAST YEAR • 3-7 overall, 1-4 Region 4
KEY RETURNER • Zach Katoa, jr., RB. Katoa led the team in rushing as a sophomore, and his presence forces defenses to respect the run, which opens the field for Trinnaman, Heaps and others to catch the ball in space.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Nate Heaps, jr., TE. While he played in every game last season, he didn't put up super impressive numbers. Expect that to change this year for the big tight end.
BIGGEST HOLE • The Cavemen lack varsity experience at many key positions.
NEED TO KNOW • Improving over last year and executing the West Coast offense will be the key to American Fork's success.