High school football: Fresh faces at QB provide new wrinkle in Region 6

Stability at the quarterback position is something every coach craves.

Lehi had it last year with Cammon Cooper and, combined with many other key pieces on the roster, the Pioneers were able to ride his arm to a state title.

Heading into the 2018 season, Lehi finds itself in the same position as every other team in Region 6 — breaking in a new quarterback.

Highland, Lehi, Olympus, Skyline, West, and Murray will all have new players taking snaps this season, and that uncertainty at the most important position on the field has created a lot of question marks heading into the season.

Offensive line play and the ability to run the football will be huge to help with that transition for the newcomers, as will a strong defense that can help set those QBs up for success will quality field position.

Highland (Trajan Benson), Olympus (Jackson Frank), Skyline (Chris Dudley) and West (Abraham Williams) have all settled on their QBs heading into the new season. Lehi and Murray, meanwhile, are still trying to figure out which direction to go.

For defending 5A champ Lehi, quarterback isn’t the only position it has holes to fill. Only three starters are back on either side of the ball from a group that ranked fourth in 5A in scoring offense and sixth in scoring defense.

“It was a special team and a special class of seniors, but hopefully they left a legacy and what it’s supposed to look like. Now we just need to develop what will be a much younger and inexperienced team. It’s a new challenge,” said Lehi coach Ed Larson.

Lehi’s competition at QB is between Hayden Betts and Creyton Cooper, the younger brother of last year’s Deseret News Mr. Football recipient, Cammon Cooper.

Lehi will rely on a young core of talent this season so the Pioneers might be a year away from contending again.

Highland, meanwhile, meanwhile returns six offensive starters and seven defensive starters and is the projected front-runner to claim the Region 6 title.

“We have a good group coming back. They have been working hard. What they lack in experience they make up for in effort and leadership,” said Brody Benson

Highland ranked sixth in scoring offense (34.5 ppg) and 10th in scoring defense (23.3 ppg), but both were nonexistent in a 37-0 playoff ouster to Corner Canyon last season. Finding a way to be more consistent in those big games will determine Highland’s long-term success.

Olympus stumbled a bit in 2017 finishing below .500 for the first time since missing the playoffs in 2014. With seven starters back on offense — including four offensive lineman — a bounce-back season seems inevitable.

“We have leadership of course. That’s a really good benefit. Anytime you have a returning starter you have people who are experienced playing at the varsity level and then going into the game situation. Sure they’ll have butterflies but they have the experience to where it’s not new to them. It’s always a benefit to have guys return,” said Olympus coach Aaron Whitehead.

Skyline finished third in Region …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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