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Prep football preview: North Summit Braves
First Published Aug 11 2014 01:00 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.

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North Summit Braves

Third-year starter Ryan McMichael is the perfect package.

The senior North Summit quarterback is a great athlete, solid leader and has the trust of his teammates. Respected and well-liked, McMichael carries the responsibility of helming the Braves with poise and a desire to win.

"He’s one of those kids that comes around once in a lifetime," coach Devin Smith said. "He’s really developed into this position, and we’re expecting a lot out of him."

Operating the option offense, McMichael is a run-first QB but has been working over the summer to improve his passing game. Smith believes with targets like Cameron Smith, Jason DeForest and Balthazar Martinez, North Summit is going to be a force on the gridiron.

"Their goal is to win a state championship," Smith said. "That’s what drives them. They play knowing that this is their last shot."

With 8 starters returning on defense, Smith believes that the Braves defense can make the necessary stops. Along with last season’s top tackler, Carson Richins, Smith named Jason Lowe and Corbin Ros as players who can change games.

"They have a focus in the weight room and on the practice field. All the guys have shown to be willing to do the hard work."

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Depth is not a problem for North Summit, with 83 students coming out for the program. Smith credits the winning tradition and hopes his seniors can finish the year with a state title.

"We have a good football tradition here and our kids want to a part of it," Smith said. "They push each other and hold each other accountable."

North Summit hosts Altamont Aug. 22.

Last season » 8-3 overall (5-1 in 2A North; lost in semifinals)

Key returner » Quarterback Ryan McMichael. The third-year starter has developed his passing game to add to a good running attack.

Player to watch » Carson Richins brings back his love of making big hits. Richins led the Braves last year in tackles. Expect solid defensive work.

Biggest hole » Execution. Smith has been working on getting North Summit to master the playbook. He is confident they’ll be ready for the home opener.

Need to know » Though North Summit has just 285 total students, the Braves’ football program has 83 players. Nearly 1 in 3 students play football.

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

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