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.
A coach doesn’t get a field named after him and stay around for 30 years at one school without experiencing some success.
But that’s what has happened to veteran Bountiful head man Larry Wall. It’s a rare year when his Braves aren’t in the thick of a hunt for a state or region title despite playing one of the state’s most difficult schedules year in and year out.
"We are going to be a typical Bountiful team," Wall said as he prepared for the 2014 season. "I am optimistic. We have several good returning starters and leaders coming back. The kids are working hard right now. They believe in the tradition and things that have been established here. There are always high expectations."
Part of the optimism revolves around the return of running back and captain Houston Heimuli, who has verbally committed to Air Force. He was a team captain as a junior and, at 6 feet and 225 pounds, is a difficult back to stop.
The fact that he will be running behind an experienced line, which Wall said may be the strength of this Bountiful team, shouldn’t hurt either.
The Braves usually run a traditional I-back under-center offense, but experimented with some spread and shotgun sets last year to open things up. Wall said establishing the run and controlling the line of scrimmage is a priority which, in tough Region 6 that features teams with big lines, isn’t easy to do.
If Bountiful has a weakness, it is lack of experience on the defensive side.
Last year » 5-6 overall (3-3 in Region 6; lost in first round of state playoffs)
Key returners » Running back Houston Heimuli could be one of the best players in the state at that position. Center Ben Fowers and offensive lineman Brady Christensen anchor a strong line.
Players to watch » Bountiful will share quarterback duties between Austin Parkinson and Jake Lindsay.
Biggest hole » The defense lacks experience and will need to improve quickly against a tough schedule if Bountiful is to make a run at the league title.
Need to know » Bountiful plays on a field named after its head coach, Larry Wall, who enters his 30th year at the school. "They thought I died one morning, so they prematurely put that up," quipped Wall.
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