Note: Box Elder finished with a 2-7 overall record in 2009 and a 0-5 mark in Region 5. The Bees have missed the playoffs three straight seasons.
BRIGHAM CITY – Current high school football fans might have a hard time recognizing Box Elder's offense when the Bees line up this season.
Box Elder is going to have two running backs in its backfield. Those backs will run behind a big offensive line. The Bees will look to establish the run and play ball control, while the quarterback is under center most of the time.
It'll be a far cry from the spread offense that's all the rage in Utah high school football. The Bees are simply going back to the basics in order to turn their program around.
"We're going to try and control the football," said Bees coach Robbie Gunter. "We have a big, strong fullback, a good offensive line. We're going to try to make that the center of our deal."
Box Elder will stick out like a sore thumb in pass-happy Region 5. For Gunter, who came to the Bees from Viewmont prior to last season, the new league has been an adjustment.
"In Region 1, that's kind of how you play football — you line it up and play as hard as you can," Gunter said. "Here, they spread it out and chuck it, no matter what. If they're ahead or behind, they throw it around. We'll try to keep the ball away from them and give it back to them after a touchdown."
The Bees will look to be balanced on offense and mix in some passes. But running the ball will be their bread-and-butter. The run game will be set up to feature Sean Smith, who led the team with 771 rushing yards while averaging 6.6 yards per carry last season.
"A guy like Mitch will get plenty of opportunities," Gunter said. "We also have a quarterback who can run. It gives us a good 1-2-3 punch."
The Bees will simplify their defense in comparison to last year. Gunter said the team had a lot of great ideas scheme-wise, but the players were confused too much.
"Our goal is to keep it simple and let them play hard on both offense and defense," he said. "That's our goal — keep it simple and let them play running downhill and hair on fire."
Box Elder is motivated to become a consistent winner again in football. Since reaching the state semifinals in 2006, the Bees have won just six games and missed the playoffs the last three seasons.
"We're ready to win this year, make everybody proud finally," Hardy said.
Gunter is ready to see if his team's hard work in the offseason will pay off.
"I'm excited," Gunter said. "It's a good group of seniors. They're committed. They want to put the Box Elder purple on and get back to winning."
And that's what they expect.
"We expect to beat every team we play, and turn this program around," Parrish said.
Box Elder Bees at a glance
Coach: Robbie Gunter is in his second season at Box Elder. His Bees went 2-7 last season. Gunter coached at Viewmont for six years prior to Box Elder. He has a 38-36 overall career record. He is a graduate of Marsh Valley High (Idaho).
(3 returning starters; two-back offense)
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