Prep football preview: Bingham Miners
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.
Year in and year out, the Bingham Miners have consistently been who the other 5A teams are chasing the Miners have only missed the semifinals four times under coach Dave Peck.
After a 14-0 finish in 2013, the Miners closed the season ranked 15th in the USA Today national high school football rankings. This year, if they were to run the table again, they would likely top that ranking, as they will face national powerhouse Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.
While the Miners area well-rounded bunch, their success hinges on quarterback Kyle Gearig.
"I just think he's a great kid," Peck said. "He's one of the best athletes I've coached."
Gearig's cool, calm, and collected personality is what makes him invaluable to their attack.
"In the biggest games, he plays his best," Peck said. "I just don't think we would have gone undefeated [last year] if it wasn't for him."
Dominating performances at the Ute Shoot 7-on-7s and BYU's JV, Varsity, and lineman competition have only increased the level of excitement around the 2014 Miners, as they have shown great improvement at the skill positions.
The defense will also hold its own, led by linebacker Daniel Langi and safety Kade Cloward. Sophomore defensive end Langi Tuifua, a recent Utah commit, is also an emerging star.
With four titles in the last 14 years, the Miners now look to go back-to-back for the second time under Peck, after first accomplishing the feat in 2009-10.
Last year • 14-0 (5A state champions)
Key returner • Considered a perfect fit for the Miners' attack, Kyle Gearig returns behind center, hoping to lead Bingham to another undefeated season and 5A state championship.
Player to watch • Senior running back Cameron Smith, who played last year in Colorado, has been turning heads during summer workouts.
Biggest hole • No matter the talent left in the system, it will be hard to replace Stanford-bound tight end Dalton Schultz.
Need to know • The key to Bingham's success is going to be up front, where it will likely start five sophomores two on the O-line and three on the D-line.