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.
Springville Red Devils
With age doesn’t necessarily come experience.
Case in point: the Springville Red Devils, who have a senior class nearing 40 members, but lost nearly every top producer on both sides of the ball.
Quite the conundrum for a team that has proven in recent years that a fast start is critical to a successful season.
"We’ve got a lot of good kids who didn’t get a lot of experience last year," Springville coach Willy Child said. "We’ve got some nice guys at receiver, quarterback and running back."
A fast start is key for Springville; the Red Devils began 4-0 last year and made the playoffs, after starting each of the previous two seasons 0-6.
Seniors Brayden Swanson and Thomas Slack return on the line, as does defensive end/tight end Leni Neiufi.
"But we’re excited about our offensive line," Child said. "We’ll be able to block up front, and let everything else take care of itself."
The Red Devils return just one other starter on offense, and are still searching for a starting quarterback.
Child said it’s a competition between senior Zach Gordon, who "makes plays with his athletic ability," and junior Tristan Swensen, who transferred from Salem Hills. Each threw just one pass last season.
Last year » 7-4 (4-2 Region 8)
Key returner » It’s all about the big boys up front — seniors Leni Neifui, Brayden Swanson and Thomas Slack play both ways on the line, which should be a strength for the Red Devils.
Player to watch » Garrett Clark (WR, CB) and Jackson Stepp (RB, LB) combined for just six touches last year, but the departure of so many top performers at the skill positions create an opportunity for the two-way seniors.
Biggest hole » With last year’s top passer, rusher and receiver all graduated, the Red Devils need to find new big-play threats.
Need to know » Springville’s first three opponents (Dixie, Corner Canyon and Stansbury) finished first or second in their respective divisions last season and combined for 22 wins.
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