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.
There’s a bad taste in coach Anthony Wilcox’s mouth from last season.
Wilcox witnessed nothing but potential with Altamont as it ultimately fell short last year, losing 48-19 to Diamond Ranch in the 1A quarterfinals.
"We have to get them over that hurdle, that mental hurdle that they can play with anyone for four quarters," Wilcox said. "Physically, these boys can match up with anyone — they just have to start believing it."
Altamont is a small school with a little more than 200 students. It’s always challenging to put together a team, but Wilcox likes working with his players to improve. It means they hold a single team practice and he works with each of the boys for them to learn their role and responsibility on the field.
Helping shape the 2014 Longhorns will be senior quarterback Riley Floy. Floy was last season’s team MVP on defense as well as a dangerous slot runner for the Longhorns. Now under center, Wilcox trusts Floy to help change the culture at Altamont.
"He’s a good kid, real tough kid," Wilcox said. "I’m expecting Riley to make big plays on both sides of the ball and bring that toughness we like."
Brady Farmsworth is returning as a running back. Though undersized, Wilcox said that Farmsworth will help with both pass protection and pounding the ball.
"Tough little kid, but Brady isn’t afraid to put his nose in there and make a hard run," Wilcox said.
The message is the same in the weight room all summer — lift hard and win as many games as possible. Like all other 1A programs, they look at Rich and Duchesne and know they have to work hard to find success.
"It’s been a one-side rivalry with Duchesne for years," Wilcox said. "This year, I’d sure like to make it more competitive."
Altamont starts the season at North Summit Aug. 22.
Last year » 3-8 (lost in 1A quarterfinals)
Key returner » Riley Floy is moving from running back to quarterback. Last year’s defensive player of the year, expect Floy to command the 25-man squad with both his arm and legs.
Player to watch » Running back Brady Farmsworth lacks height but not power. Expect the senior RB to make big plays up the center of the field.
Biggest hole » Confidence. Coach Anthony Wilcox knows his players have the physical strength to compete with anyone in 1A, the Longhorns just need to believe that they can win big matches.
Need to know » Junior running back Slayton Thompson broke his foot five minutes into last season’s first game. Thompson’s return could provide big gains for Altamont.
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