Prep football two-a-days: Box Elder
If you're watching a Region 5 football game this fall, look to the sky.
Northern Utah is pass happy, and Box Elder coach Robbie Gunter knows that means his defense is going to have its hands full every game.
"In our region, you've got to have DBs," the coach said, " because that's all they do is throw."
As the Bees prepare for the start of a new season, their secondary remains a question mark. Jake Tolman and Tyler Thornton combined for more than 120 tackles and a handful of interceptions last year. But with that duo gone, Gunter is looking for someone to step up and try to slow down some of the state's best passing attacks.
Elsewhere on the defense, Box Elder will be led by two-way lineman Luke Daley and four-year linebackers Breckin Gunter and Shad Watson.
Watson will be playing both ways for Box Elder.
"As a quarterback, he had a successful year last year," his coach said. "He's gotten stronger and bigger, and his decision-making has improved. I think that's going to make the difference."
The Bees will be looking to replace Kyler Allen, the team's leading rusher a year ago. Coach Gunter believes that duty could fall to junior running back Riley Burt.
"He's a youngster, but he's ready to step up and take his turn," Gunter said.
Box Elder Bees
ASSIGNMENT • Region 5
LAST YEAR • 7-5, 3-2 Region 5
KEY RETURNER • Senior Shad Watson is a two-way player who will look to hurt the Bees' opponents as both a quarterback and a linebacker.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Jayk Brooks isn't the biggest player on the roster, but the slot receiver "has a big heart" and could turn some heads.
BIGGEST HOLE • Depth. "We don't want to play these guys both ways all the time," coach Robbie Gunter said.
NEED TO KNOW • In pass-happy Region 5, it's always a challenge to find defensive backs ready for the task. How Box Elder replaces Jake Tolman and Tyler Thornton will be key.