Prep football two-a-days: Davis
Ryan Bishop has seen cycles of various position players roll through during his 13 years at Davis High School.
There have been years where he's had too many strong linemen, too many stout linebackers and athletes who are explosive with the ball.
The Darts, who don't return many starters from last year's Class 5A quarterfinal program, have skill kids this year.
Case in point: When Bishop and the coaching staff went searching for the replacement to departed senior quarterback Gage Cook, he went to the receivers and found Colton Chronister.
"We want a good athlete, we want a leader and we want a young man who has varsity experience," Bishop said. "Colton's an athlete. The guys his age and the younger guys respond to him."
Chronister, who played quarterback as a sophomore at Davis, will spearhead a Davis offense that returns skill players such as receivers Abel Porter and Trevor Leavitt as well as running back Parker Rose.
While the ability is there, the execution must be worked to perfection, and that starts with the revamping of the Darts' offensive line, Bishop said. He said it's the team's biggest question mark heading into the season and into a region that Bishop calls "the most competitive, balanced and well-coached region in the state."
And in order to stop the dynamic offenses from Davis County and northward, Davis must rely on key returning defensive starters such as defensive lineman Kawika Tupuola, linebacker Davis Hanson and safety Matt Morrell.
"I keep telling those guys, 'You know what the Friday night fires are about, you've been there and you're the ones who need to lead and teach the other guys who haven't,'" Bishop said.
So what will it take for Davis to contend in Region 1 in 2013?
"It is about this week," Bishop said. "It's always about the week ahead of you."
ASSIGNMENT • Region 1
LAST YEAR • 7-5 overall, 2-3 Region 1
KEY RETURNER • Kawika Tupuola, sr., DL. Having played on the Davis varsity and junior varsity teams since he was a freshman, Tupuola is expected to be the anchor for the Darts' defensive line in 2013.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Skill players. Coach Bishop didn't single out any player in particular, but he said to keep an eye out for players such as Porter, Leavitt and Rose to make explosive plays throughout the season.
BIGGEST HOLE • Offensive line. "I'm as curious as anyone really, and in my opinion, if we can develop those kids and get them playing at a high level, we should be able to contend in Region 1," Bishop said. "If we don't develop those kids, it's going to be rough."
NEED TO KNOW • Bishop said the extreme familiarity Region 1 teams have with one another leads to several upsets within the region every year, and he only expects that possibility to grow with Viewmont rejoining the region.