Prep football preview: Lehi Pioneers
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.
After moving over from Timpanogos, new Lehi coach, Ed Larson is up for the challenge of building up a program and sustaining it. Last year’s Pioneers squad finished at .500, so the potential is there. Now, Larson will look to create a culture that prepares his guys to win at anything they do.
"I came in and I challenged the seniors, I challenged the juniors to be prepared to win," Larson said. "That means that they have to prepare to win in everything up to the game, and then when the game starts, prepare to win there."
The foundation that Larson and his seniors are looking to set will not just happen. Therefore, this year’s senior class will need to instill that mentality by being good examples to the underclassmen.
"We’re going to try and set a culture where there’s an expectation of work, commitment, and concentration," Larson said. "These seniors have to set that [foundation] and then transfer it down. The programs that win consistently in the state, they set that culture."
Building a program can take some time, but the Pioneers will continue to be the same. They will expect to win.
"The beautiful thing about athletics is, you have to play the game, so on paper, people are going to say, ‘Aw, you guys don’t have a shot,’ but you’ve got to play the games," Larson said. "We’re going to try and instill that positive attitude and let them understand that a lot of this game in high school is mental."
Last year » 5-5
Key returner » Kaden Calton, one of the state’s leading rushers from 2013.
Player to watch » Brackin Stringgam. A solid athlete, he’s expect to be a big contributor on the offensive line, while occasionally playing on the defensive line.
Biggest hole » The Pioneers lost nearly their entire defensive line from a year ago, which was a strength of last year’s squad.
Need to know » From 2008-2012, the Pioneers won six games. Last year they won five and a good core from that team is returning.