Canyon View Falcons
Having a whole bunch of returning starters is generally a very good thing for football teams. But it begs the question of how good when those starters are from a 1-9 squad.
But Canyon View coach Robby Robinson thinks that the return of 18 regulars from last year’s Falcons will indeed be a positive.
"We think it’ll be like night and day," Robinson said. "Midseason, we upset Delta and then started playing well for the rest of the season."
These Falcons aren’t planning to fly very much. Instead, it’s the ground game, in an old-fashioned wishbone scheme, that Canyon View will be using offensively.
And most of last year’s components in the three-pronged running game is back, although the Falcons will have a new quarterback orchestrating the attack.
Junior Mike Musto will step into the signal-caller role for 2014, and he’ll have a 1,200-yard rusher in senior Braxton Higgins returning. Higgins’ younger brother Peyton (5-foot-8, 155 pounds) also started a year ago, as did returning fullback Tevan Vasi (Sr., 5-11, 215).
In its nine losses, Canyon View gave up an average of 43.8 points per game. The strength of the Falcons’ returning defensive starters is at safety, where senior Ty Hollerman (6-2, 190) will patrol along with sophomore Isaiah Shearer (6-1, 175).
And Canyon View also has Class 3A’s leading tackler from ’13 back in Austin Evans. Now a senior, Evans (5-10, 170) racked up 116 tackles a year ago and might get to that level again.
"We protect him — lock up everybody else and let him run free," Robinson said.
Last year » 1-9 overall (1-4 in 3A South)
Key returner » Senior RB Braxton Higgins (5-10, 200) is back in the wishbone after rushing for 1,200 yards last year.
Player to watch » Junior Mike Musto (6-1, 205) will step into the quarterback role this season.
Biggest hole » The defensive line for the Falcons is relatively raw, compared to the experience coming back at linebacker and in the defensive backfield.
Need to know » The Falcons have around 20 more players listed on the roster than a year ago, so depth may be on the team’s side this time around.
For a school with 10 state championships to its credit, back-to-back losing seasons over the last two years is certainly far from the norm. And Delta suffered through four straight lopsided losses in the middle of the 2013 campaign.
But the Rabbits finished with wins in two of their last three games, and coach Russ Fowles enters his second year with renewed optimism.
"We just couldn’t beat the ones we needed to. Hopefully, that experience will get us to that next level," Fowles said. "And a little more experience for the coach will help, too."
Senior quarterback Bracken Lovell will bring a year of experience to the position, and he’ll have help in the backfield from senior Victor Almanza (5-foot-8, 160 pounds), who will move from wide receiver to running back.Next Page >
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