There has been regression the last four years at Springville High.
The Red Devils were a combined 21-4 in 2009 and 2010, reaching the state championship game and the state semifinals.
But the Red Devils were a combined 5-16 in 2011 and 2012, including 2-8 last season under first-year coach Willy Child.
The good news is that Child only started four seniors last season, so nearly every position on the field this season will be occupied by a player who gained valuable experience last year.
One of those players is Jessi Noll, a small but versatile wide receiver and defensive back who has played on varsity since his freshman year. Senior tight end and defensive end Zach Hansen is another senior who has started since he was a freshman, according to Child.
"We were depending a lot on younger kids last year," Child said. "We had a lot of close games and didn't finish games very well."
In fact, seven points separated Springville from securing a 5-5 record and a likely spot in the state playoffs. A pair of one-point losses to Juan Diego and Mountain View and a five-point loss to Maple Mountain doomed the Red Devils to 2-8.
With experienced players returning and more senior leadership this season, Springville might be able to make some progress back toward the success it enjoyed just a few years ago.
Springville Red Devils
ASSIGNMENT • Region 8
LAST YEAR • 2-8 overall, 2-5 Region 8
KEY RETURNER • Jessi Noll, sr., WR/DB. At just 5 foot 8, Noll is not physically imposing, but his skills and leadership set him apart.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Dylan Slavens, sr., QB. Slavens is a transfer from Maple Mountain who is eligible immediately, but it will be interesting to see how he meshes with the rest of the offense in just his only season with the team.
BIGGEST HOLE • There are new coaches, a new quarterback and a lot of young players getting them all to understand the playbook and execute will be a challenge.
NEED TO KNOW • Child said the team is talented at the wide receiver position, but running the ball on offense and stopping the run on defense will dictate the success of this team.