High school football: South Summit Wildcats 2020 preview

Here’s an in-depth look at the South Summit Wildcats football team heading into the 2020 season.

Note: South Summit finished with an 3-7 overall record in 2019 and was fifth in Region 13 with a 1-4 record. It was RPI seed No. 12 in the 3A playoffs and was eliminated by Morgan 42-0 in first round.

KAMAS — From 2009 to 2018, South Summit was the most dominant and consistent program in 2A football. During the run that spanned three coaches, it advanced to at least the semifinals every year, won four state titles and was runner-up four other times. Its record during that stretch was 101-17.

Last season in South Summit’s first year bumping up to 3A, the program dealt with a ton of adversity and struggled to a 3-7 record under first-year coach Jon Snyder.

Did one year bad year erase all of the momentum built up over a decade?

Coach Mike Grajek is committed to making sure it doesn’t. After a one-year hiatus, Grajek is returning as head coach for South Summit. In his first coaching stint with the program from 2016 to 2018, his teams went 33-3, winning two state titles.

“We do have over 20 seniors coming out this summer so that is really promising. The kids are working hard this summer,” said Grajek, who said he’s got a strong contingent of juniors on the team as well.

Last season, South Summit ran a triple option offense, but Grajek is reverting to the spread offense that was so successful during his previous run.

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South Summit Wildcats at a glance
Grajek’s thoughts on how his players dealt the COVID-19 adversity in the spring and summer:

“We’ve tried to be thankful. I tell them we talk about masks and we take temperatures every day, I remind them we’re one of the only states that doing this so just be grateful that we’re out here doing it and enjoy, cause we don’t know when it could end. Their attitude has been really good.”

South Summit offensive snapshot

Offensive coordinator: Mike Grajek

2019 offense: 13.8 ppg (15th in 3A)

2019 offensive statistics
Four returning starters
Spread offense
Returning offensive starters
Bobby Freeman (OL)
Xander Lindsay (OL)
Kaleb Butikofer (OL)
Dartanian Sanchez (Wing)
Offensive newcomers to watch
Payton Sanderson (QB)
Hunter Zenger (Slot)
Gage Martinez (WR)
Hayden Suhadolc (WR)
John Mora (WR)
Lukas Mendia (OL)
Kameron Horrocks (OL)
Max Whitmore (OL)
Jacob Hermansen (OL)
Beau Robison (OL)
Grajek’s keys for offensive success in 2020:

“We only go as our O-line goes. That’s a huge key is our offensive line and the old cliche is being able to take what the defense gives us. If they’re stopping the pass, you’ve got to be able to run. If they’re stopping the run, we’ve got to be able to pass. So even though we do through it a lot we’ve got to be able to run the ball, and that’s obviously from the offensive line.”

South Summit defensive snapshot

Defensive coordinator: Jamie Freeman

2019 defense: 26.9 ppg (11th in 3A)

2019 defensive statistics
Four returning starters
3-5 defense
Returning defensive starters
Brice Clegg (DT)
Bobby Freeman (DL)
Kaleb Butikofer (LB)
Taylor Limb (CB)
Defensive newcomers to watch
Xander Metcalfe (LB)
Tyler Thacker (LB)
Grajek’s keys for defensive success …read more

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Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


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