Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Prep football preview: Weber Warriors
First Published Jul 23 2014 03:06 pm • Last Updated Aug 19 2014 09:16 am

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.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Weber Warriors

They’ll always have that night in downtown Salt Lake City, the night the Weber Warriors screamed in elation, rather than despair. The 2013 season was about finding the course and sticking to it, and under first-year coach Matt Hammer, the Warriors snapped their 24-game losing streak that stretched across three seasons in the season opener last year at West.

Weber, in fact, made more of its season a year ago than just one win, it started 4-1 and was in the thick of the hyper-competitive Region 1 race for the first couple months, but struggled down the stretch, going 1-4 and missing out on the postseason.

In 2014, Hammer’s Warriors know 5-5 won’t cut it.

"We’ve got to be a team that’s playing in November," said the second-year head coach. "We want to compete for region championships, but we want to be a playoff program."

Weber will certainly have the opportunity to do so in a wide-open Region 1 this fall. In order to reach its goal, the onus will rest in large part on senior quarterback Cole Dean. He started every game a year ago and helped the Warriors’ turnaround. This season, Dean’s skill set could be a defining factor in how the Warriors stack up against their familiar rivals up north.

"He has to take charge and get us going in the right direction offensively," Hammer said. "I think he’s earned a lot of respect from the other coaches in the region. He just can’t have that slump in his second year, coming and then going backward and trying to do too much. His growth as a football player is needed."

As most programs have to do each fall, Weber has to find answers to replace the likes of Auston Tesch, Mike Baker, Huston Wade and Ryan Beal. Tesch, the team’s leading rusher and tackler, signed with Weber State, but senior Hunter Bell is expected to shoulder the load.

story continues below
story continues below

"Downhill guy, and he’s probably one of the hardest-working kids we have on that team," Hammer said. "Question is: Can he handle carrying the ball 20 times on a Friday night? We think he can."

Year 2 under Hammer and his staff is going to entail the chasing of a postseason berth. Can the upstart Warriors continue what they started in 2013?

"I definitely think it’s a situation where we can compete, but it’s how we play, it’s not just going to show up and happen for us," Hammer said. "We’ve got to do the right things every single snap and every single play."

Last year » 5-5 (2-3 in Region 1)

Key returner » Cole Dean (QB). The senior signal-caller will be leaned upon to carry the Warriors toward contending for a region title. The tall, strong-armed QB has the make-up to do so, Hammer says.

Player to watch » Braxton Beck (S/LB). A playmaker in the back for the Weber defense as a junior in 2013 with more than 45 tackles and three picks, Beck will be asked to float between safety and linebacker this year.

Biggest hole » Offensive line. As Hammer noted, the game is won in the trenches, and the Warriors are returning just one offensive lineman from a year ago. With Hunter Bell replacing Tesch, the new crew of linemen will have to come together in fall camp.

Need to know » Former Weber defensive coordinator and NFL cornerback Andre Dyson moved to be the head coach at Clearfield High School, his alma mater.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.