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.
Mountain View Bruins
A positive attitude is contagious. And positivity is spreading quickly at Mountain View with the addition of new head coach Lewis Wong, who has brought a new spirit to the program’s players and assistants, while getting more athletes interested in the program.
Wong is known as a players’ coach. He also brings loads of experience, having led Timpview to four consecutive state championships. Most importantly, he’s brought the love of the game back to the program. The excitement is visible — players show up early to practice and ready to improve. Also, the number of students interested in playing football at Mountain View has increased, according to assistant coach Chris Haacke.
"We need a change at Mountain View, someone who will come in and change the attitude and culture of football," Haacke said.
Mountain View hasn’t been the tier-one program in years, but Haacke is optimistic that things are changing.
"People can overlook us, but we have some kids that are really starting to believe in themselves," he said. "If they do that, we can return to a winning program."
In the past, several players were forced to play both sides of the ball due to the lack of depth. Haacke said they had talent, but by the fourth quarter the players were mentally and physically tired and unable to finish games strong.
The recruitment and development of better depth has been the team’s main goal this offseason.
Last year » 1-9 overall (1-5 Region 7)
Key returners » Senior wide receiver Cayden Gomez is the Bruins’ game-breaker. He came make plays with a few moves. Senior center McKay Norton is the team’s leader and "the boys rally around him." His leadership will be imperative to Mountain View’s success. Senior quarterback Jeren Flaker is "our guy, we are going to either win or lose games through him. He has really set up since last year."
Biggest holes » Haacke said building confidence and depth will be key this season. "If we can do that we can do some pretty amazing stuff," he said. "It’s not just not one individual player, who win or losses the game, it depends on everyone."
Need to know » Mountain View is headed in the right direction, but Haacke warns against expectations rising too far too fast. "It’s going to take some time and hard work," he said.
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