High school football: Copper Hills 2018 preview

Note: Copper Hills finished with a 1-8 overall record in 2017 and was sixth in Region 3 with a 0-5 record. It did not qualify for the 5A playoffs.

Copper Hills 2017 Offensive and Defensive Stats

WEST JORDAN — When Copper Hills beat Ben Lomond 16-13 last year, it was a big moment in the community. The Grizzlies had lost 26 straight games, so even a small-margin win over a smaller school was considered a big victory.

The school’s new football coach at the time wasn’t as excited as everyone else, especially in light of the fact that Copper Hills went on to go 1-8.

“I’m not happy about one win,” second-year coach Corey Dodds said. “But the community certainly was.”

Dodds believes that one-win season — an improvement from the two previous winless campaigns — laid a foundation for what he’s optimistic will develop into a winning program.

“I’m a very delusional and optimistic person,” he said. “I look at it as I want to win every game.”

Dodds draws on his experience from his college playing days for hope that turnarounds can happen. He recalled how the Utes went from a 5-6 season in Ron McBride’s final year to 10-2 the following season and then undefeated the next year with a lot of the same players.

“I was part of that whole Urban Meyer experience at Utah,” he said. “I watched how a simple change in attitude and work ethic changes a program.”

Some players quit the team because they didn’t like how hard he made the players work, Dodds said. But that doesn’t faze him. He’s emulating what Meyers did to him and his teammates.

“I grind the hell out of them,” he said. “The (negative) feedback is that I run it like a college. … I look at is a positive if I’m running it as a college and if I’m too (tough) then I’m doing good here.”

The former linebacker from the Utes’ 2004 Fiesta Bowl-winning team has high expectations from his hard-working Grizzlies.

“I want to go to the playoffs,” Dodds said. “I think this community deserves a shot in the playoffs. My goal is above .500, which is something the school’s never done before, gone .500 once.”

Grizzlies at a glance

Coach: Corey Dodds, a former University of Utah linebacker, is in his second season as head coach at Copper Hills. His 2017 team won for the first time since 2014, snapping a 26-game losing streak.

Grizzlies Offensive Snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Corey Dodds

2017 offensive production: 11.9 ppg (21st in 6A)

Three returning starters
Spread offense

Key offensive returning starters

Offensive line (unit): Coach Dodds said this is a key with four guys back in the trenches.

Returning offensive starters

Jay Archibald (LT)
Gabe Conriquez (RG)
Carston Hiller (C)

Offensive newcomers to watch

A.J. Tafisi (RB)
Tommy Peake (WR)
Jackson Ledbetter (WR)

Coach Dodds comments on the offensive line:

“Four of five returning linemen are (back) so that’s big. They’re seniors. We really put a premium on the offensive line this offseason.”

Coach Dodds comments on his outlook:

“A lot of question marks, a lot of talent, but it’s really a matter of, ‘Can they …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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