Make no mistake: Lee Chadwick likes his team. Monticello has a lot of returning starters from a team that scored a lot of points last year.
But the Buckaroos sure ain't Duchesne. Not yet.
"I think it will always be Duchesne's title to win until somebody takes it," Chadwick says. "They're tough regardless of who plays."
Normally, that's pretty typical preseason coach-speak, but the Eagles have a 22 consecutive wins the longest active streak in the state to back up their reputation. The winner of the last two 1A titles, Duchesne inspires goose bumps when it takes the field against a 1A opponent.
The Eagles lose some starters, size and speed, but have retained the same standards under their new coach, Jerry Cowan who happened to be the team's old coach. Veterans such as Kaden Moon and Wade Shepard return to maintain the team's hard-edged style.
They'll be pushed hard, however, by Layton Christian, last year's runner-up. Those Eagles boast some of the fastest players in the state, and have quarterback Kyle Yockey.
Monticello should edge its way into the mix with a renewed emphasis on defense, as well as the return of backs Austin Wilcox and Austin Maloy. And Rich should be no joke either a down season last year could leave the Rebels fired up for their annual rivalry match with Duchesne.