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(Steve Griffin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Dixie quarterback Ammon Takau runs the ball as the Desert Hills defense flushes him from the pocket during the 3AA state football semifinal game at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah Friday, November 15, 2013.
Prep football: 3AA South preview

First Published Aug 16 2014 03:17 pm • Last Updated Aug 16 2014 11:00 pm

Cedar City

After finishing fifth in the tough 3AA South last year behind four Washington County schools, Cedar City enters this season determined to make a move up.

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With experienced players such as three-year starters Austin Obering, Bracken Lewis and Dallin Brooks, the Iron County school could be ready to challenge.

"We are hoping and expecting to have a very good year," said coach Todd Peacock. "Our strengths are speed and experience. We are in a very tough region, but we feel like we can compete with all the other great teams."

Cedar City finished 5-7 a year ago and lost in the first round of the state tournament.

Jeff Rogers, a senior who is the team’s kicker, wide receiver and free safety, is the team’s big-play threat this year. Brock Oldroyd, a junior fullback who played fullback as a soph before breaking his ankle, could give Cedar a boost as well.

"My biggest concern is that we don’t have a lot of depth, especially with our linemen," said Peacock.

"A few injuries could really hurt our season."

Last year » 5-7 (lost in first round of state)

Key returners » Three-year starters Austin Obering, Brecken Lewis and Dallin Brooks should give Cedar City experienced leadership.

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Player to watch » Sophomore quarterback Mason Fakahua, who has good size and speed, could add an important dimension this season.

Biggest hole » Depth, especially on the line, could be a problem.

Need to know » Cedar plays in tough 3AA South, which sent three teams to the state semifinals a year ago.

Desert Hills Thunder

Ever since Desert Hills opened its doors in 2008, the Thunder have been a fixture in the state playoffs. The Thunder have accomplished this with hard work and discipline. They are fast and physical on offense and defense. They don’t always put up big numbers, but they usually find a way to get the job done.

After losing a good amount of impact players from last year’s 3AA championship team, the Thunder will look to repeat by relying on everyone, not just a couple stars.

"It takes all 11 guys doing their job at all times, and that’s what’s so great about our team and the kids that have come through," Thunder coach Carl Franke said. "They’re really supportive of each other and they know they’re only as good as their weakest link."

Placing a heavy emphasis on the team as a whole is nothing new to Desert Hills, They are still a young school, but they have done their best to ingrain a "family" theme into their culture.

That being said, they still have plenty of star power with Gabe and Boogie Sewell, Bridger and Tucker Cowdin, Nick Warmsley, and Justice Alo. Their biggest question will be at the defensive end position.

Franke’s guys are so focused, he says, they have long since on from last year’s championship.

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