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Prep football preview: Copper Hills Grizzlies
First Published Aug 06 2014 09:56 am • 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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Copper Hills Grizzlies

In Year 2 under coach John Tuescher, who previously cut his teeth as a member of the University of Utah staff, Copper Hills looks to build off of the framework and foundation that was set in 2013.

"I’ve been on the job now about 19 months, and only in the last little bit have I really started to feel comfortable that things are really getting culturally what’s expected," Tuescher said.

The Grizzlies will return 17 starters from last year’s team — a group that had plenty of freshmen and sophomores either starting or in the rotation.

"I’m really excited about the upcoming season," Tuescher said. "We have a lot of guys back who have varsity experience."

The group is well aware of its lack of a winning tradition, but all the players are now in lockstep with Tuescher’s mindset. The coach says he now sees the effort level and the commitment needed to change the culture.

"Our coaching philosophy is now the prevailing thought process around here," he said.

While changing the culture is a huge priority, it is also important to pick successful programs’ brains. The Grizzlies’ coaching staff was fortunate enough this season to learn from UCLA offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone, in order to refine their offensive approach.

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Building a program takes time, but Copper Hills is eager to prove that it’s heading in the right direction.

Last year » 1-9

Key returner » The Grizzlies will look to keep the talented Will Unatoa busy in 2014, as he will line up at linebacker, defensive end, receiver, and tight end.

Player to watch » Karl Kumpin is a difference-maker on both offense and defense for Copper Hills.

Biggest hole » The Grizzlies are looking for a new signal-caller, one that can be a good runner and a nice fit for their spread-zone-read offense.

Need to know » The day after the 2013 season ended, Tuescher met with his 2014 seniors to set the goals for this season.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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