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.
Park City Miners
Mike Shepherd’s rebuilding project at Park City is a bit behind schedule as the coach enters his second year in his second stint at the school.
The sudden death of athletic director and assistant coach Aaron Alford on the first day of practice last year stunned the program from the outset and left a pall over the 2013 season.
"We never really recovered," Shepherd said. "It took so long to rebound that we were behind the whole time. But the kids have worked really hard and they’ve showed us they’re willing to work as hard as we want them to."
The Miners won just one game in 2012, and played a ton of young players in 2013. They are still young, but they are athletic — especially at the skill positions — and will look to take advantage of that this season.
Senior quarterback Ian Moritz returns behind what will be an inexperienced offensive line — only tackle Ryan Graves returns as a starter. Junior Grayson Maddux is also back at running back. Moritz and Maddux combined for more than 900 yards rushing last season.
Defensively, the Miners are switching to a 3-4 defense to take advantage of a talented linebacker corps, led by Maddux.
"He has put on about 15 pounds and he is a real good athlete," Shepherd said of Maddux. "We’ve got some good athletes, but we lack size and experience on the line."
Last year » 3-8 (3-3 Class 3AA North)
Key returner » Senior quarterback Ian Moritz accounted for 1,800 yards through the air and on the ground last year.
Player to watch » Junior Graysen Maddux returns at running back, and will move from cornerback to linebacker in the Miners’ new 3-4 defensive scheme.
Biggest hole » Offensive line, without question. Only one starter returns, and Park City will rely on juniors and sophomores in the other spots.
Need to know » The Miners have made the playoffs in 7 of the past 8 seasons.
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