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(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Judge DE Ricki Maka, #56, celebrates the 3A title win with team mates. Judge Memorial beat Manti 36-22 for the 3A championship, played at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, Saturday November 16, 2013..
Prep football: 3A North preview

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

Carbon Dinos

To say that Carbon High football has struggled in the last decade would be an understatement. The Dinos’ record since 2004 is nine wins against 87 losses. Their best season was 2011, when they went 4-5. The last two years, Carbon is a combined 1-19.

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But Carbon alum Jan Jorgensen, a former defensive star at BYU, has returned to Price to coach his alma mater and is bringing a new defense, a new offense and — perhaps most importantly — hopeful attitude to the struggling program.

"It is fun, but there is also a lot of pressure," said Jorgensen, who is also a first-year teacher at Carbon. "There are a lot of expectations. It’s different being back here. It’s crazy up north, and I am coming back to being more of a small-town area."

Jorgensen is trying to keep his team’s new schemes under wraps as it prepares for an opener against Grand. All he will say is that while many of the 3A and 2A teams in Utah use a wing-T offense, he guarantees Carbon’s offense will be more modernized and not look anything like that.

The new coach is realistic but optimistic.

"We’ve come a long ways from where we started to where we are at right now," he said. "If we can stay healthy, which is always the key to a football team at certain positions, we can be pretty good. But part of me doesn’t know where we are until we play that first game."

Carbon teams have proved they can win. The Helper baseball team just won its second straight Utah American Legion title, and two of the football players missed some time at practice playing in the regionals.

One thing is certain. The program has nowhere to go but up.

Last year » 0-10

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Key returner » Quarterback Jarod Lesser, who started last year but was injured about a quarter of the way through the season, should lead Carbon’s reformatted offense.

Player to watch » Garrett Blanc, a slotback, will be relied upon to make big plays.

Biggest hole » Carbon has been bit by the injury bug in recent years. Coach Jan Jorgensen is installing a new offense and defense, which players will need to master.

Need to know » Jorgensen graduated from Carbon in 2003 after playing all four years as a defensive end and as quarterback his junior and senior year. He was a BYU star at defensive end.

Emery Spartans

To say the Emery Spartans are a young football team might be a bit of an understatement.

With only two starters returning and a total of six seniors on the team, Emery will be turning to its underclassmen to provide depth. Coach Jim Jones estimates that as many as six sophomores might be starting for the Spartans.

Such inexperience might be perceived as a liability, but Jones has been impressed with what he’s seen so far from the younger players.

"We have a great attitude," he said. "We’re a very hard-working football team.

"Yeah, we are young, we are inexperienced, but we feel we are pretty talented, too. I could see us very easily surprising some people who overlook us."

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