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Prep football preview: Beaver Beavers
First Published Aug 12 2014 03:56 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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Beaver Beavers

In rural Utah, where it can be hard enough to find skilled players for every position on the football field, nothing is guaranteed.

Especially when just about every starter is an underclassman.

But that’s the challenge facing the Beaver High School and head coach Steve Hutchings this year.

Don’t expect them to use that as an excuse.

"I’m not going to be talking about next year at all," Hutchings said. "That would be a disservice to the seniors who’ve worked so hard. We’re going to work for this year. You work for what’s in front of you."

Those seniors include Gideon White, Payton Raddon and Landon Burke, a trio of linemen whom Hutchings will rely upon heavily to lead.

The Beavers also have some experience among the underclassmen, having started three of them last year as sophomores. Junior Brantson Blackburn will be back at tight end and Brennan Hutchings will once again be used as a running back. And after playing on the defensive side of the ball last season, junior Matthew Roberts should see time at quarterback for the Beavers this year.

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"One of the challenges in small-school football is making sure to get the right players in the right positions," Hutchings said. "Hopefully we can draw a little bit from our JV experience last year. Through the fall and the first couple games, the challenge is finding which people to play to play which position."

Last year » 9-2

Key returners » Linemen Gideon White, Payton Raddon and Landon Burke look to be three of the rare senior starters heading into the fall.

Player to watch » Junior Matthew Roberts played defense last season as a sophomore. This time around, he’ll be called upon to try his hand at quarterback.

Biggest hole » Experience will be lacking on a team that graduated most of its starters.

Need to know » Three sophomores started last year for the Beavers and should be ably to rely upon the experience as a young team works through a new challenge.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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