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.
Sky View Bobcats
Two or three years ago wasn’t exactly the best of times for the Sky View offensive and defensive lines. Lack of depth led to youngsters — ninth-graders, no less — starting at positions much better suited for older, more developed bodies.
But those same guys are now what Bobcats coach Craig Anhder calls the "heart of the team" in 2014.
Tyler Downs started as a freshman during the 5-6 campaign in 2011. Now he’s a behometh 6-foot-6, 315-pound senior playing offensive and defensive tackle for Sky View. Similarly, Colton Durrant was a starter on another 5-6 team in 2012, and now he’s a 6-3, 280-pound junior at offensive guard and defensive tackle.
Senior center Ben Watteyne joins Downs and Durrant to anchor the O-line while juniors Max Christensen (6-3, 215) and Jake Pitcher (6-3, 190) are returning regulars on the defensive side.
At the quarterback slot, Anhder will look to Garrison Beach to step in for graduated Braxton Godderidge.
"We’ve got some young kids and we’ve got to replace [Godderidge]," Anhder said. "But [Beach] has got better mechanics than any quarterback I’ve ever coached."
Beach has three returning wide receivers, led by junior Bryce Mortenson (6-5, 185), to snag his throws. Defensively, look for senior linebacker Levi Hammer (6-0, 230) to lead the troops behind the line.
"We’re very raw, but we’ve got good athleticism," Anhder said. "We’ve got guys who are very committed. They’re very determined."
Last year » 9-3 overall (5-1 in Region 5)
Key returner » Junior QB Garrison Beach, (6-0, 185) is ready to take the reins as the team’s signal-caller.
Player to watch » Junior WR/DB Alex McCrae (6-0, 170) could be a big playmaker on both sides of the ball.
Biggest hole » The Bobcats have talent, but relative inexperience is their collective Achilles’ heel.
Need to know » Sky View runs a spread, but don’t be surprised to see more running than other similar offenses, as Tyler Downs (Sr., 6-6, 315) leads a sizeable offensive line.
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.