Prep football preview: Hurricane Tigers
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.
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. While the Hurricane Tigers had a disappointing season in 2013, the program is built for winning. At season’s end, coach Chris Homer stepped down, but the Tigers believe they already had the right replacement on their staff, 14-year offensive coordinator Steve Pearson.
While it was difficult to see his longtime friend step down, Pearson is excited for what lies ahead.
"It’s really neat," he said. "We’ve got a great program here, we’ve got a great staff, and we’ve been together a long time. When coach Homer made the transition over to administration, that was a really tough time because we’re certainly going to miss him."
With continuity on the staff and a solid core of players returning, Hurricane will look to return to its winning ways — by being physical and wearing teams down. So just what does that mean?
"I like to tease around and tell people, ‘Well now we’re going to go with 10 wide receivers and the quarterback’s going to snap the ball to himself.’ People love to say, ‘Well, they only throw the ball like five times a game,’ so I tell them we’re going to throw it 65 times," Pearson joked.
In reality, he knows what has laid the foundation for the team’s past success.
"We’re going to carry on with what we’ve been doing," he said. "We feel comfortable with it, we feel confident in it, and we think our body of work kind of speaks for itself."
Last year » 2-10
Key returner » Highly touted linebacker Jeremiah Ieremia is fast, agile, and extremely strong. He is a talent that comes around only once in a while for a small school like Hurricane.
Player to watch » Despite a heavy rotation due to the wing-T offense, Tyson Yardley is expected to have a breakout year.
Biggest hole » Due to the fast pace of Hurricane’s offense, the depth at tackle will always be a big hole to fill.
Need to know » More than half of the kids on both side of the ball are three-sport athletes.