The Utes finished 1-8 in Cody Reutzel's first season as Uintah's coach.
Disappointing but not devastating.
Suffering tough losses but learning from the experiences has tempered Reutzel and his players. Instead of hanging their heads, it has served as inspiration to enter the 2013 season firing on all pistons.
"It was a tough schedule last year, taking their confidence and grinding it to very little," Reutzel said. "But they never stopped trying."
The Utes are ready to move forward. Quarterback Braxton Coonis will lead the run-heavy squad with a spread-option scheme that the senior has time to learn and execute. Coonis has rehabilitated and taken the extra steps to leave his mark after suffering a concussion last season at Grantsville.
"He's become really coachable," Reutzel said. "As a running team, he's making the good decisions and not worrying about simply being a tough guy. He's playing smart."
Defensively, linebacker Dylan Hanks is merciless running down every play and making the big stops. With standout sophomore tailback Tyson Colton working his way to a starting job, Reutzel is witnessing a change from last year.
"They have this confidence to come out there on the field and compete at the level they know they can," Reuztel said. "There's a leadership on the field that we haven't seen in a while."
ASSIGNMENT • Class 3AA North
LAST YEAR • 1-8 overall, 1-4 Region 10
KEY RETURNER • Quarterback Braxton Coonis recovered from the concussion he suffered last season at Grantsville. He's prepared to run the spread-option scheme and leave his mark during his senior season.
PLAYER TO WATCH • Sophomore tailback Tyson Colton is willing his way to a starting job. He is an exciting, tough player with all-out speed.
BIGGEST HOLE • Confidence. The Utes need to know they can compete.
NEED TO KNOW • Don't discount senior leadership. The seniors are creating a family environment, which is benefitting the Utes.