High school football: Box Elder Bees 2011 preview

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 9 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

Riley Reeves

NOTE: Box Elder finished 6-5 overall in 2010 and 4-1 in Region 5, claiming a share of the league title. The Bees lost in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.

BRIGHAM CITY — This is a football team whose best virtues are readily visible in 3D — desire, dedication and determination. And if those qualities mean anything — which they always do — then the Bees will no doubt be stinging some folks in this year's Region 5 race.

Robbie Gunter begins his third year at the Box Elder High football helm with plenty of firepower back from last year's ballclub that tied for the league title.

And if they can continue to learn, work hard and strive for success, they just might surprise some folks this season.

"This senior class, as a group, has not been very successful," Gunter said. "But they've put in a lot of work this offseason to try and change that. And I think it's going to be a strength to them. "They've worked hard and they've learned how to do the little things. They rely on each other a lot more — some teams can rely on one guy to carry them for awhile — Mountain Crest did it (with quarterback Alex Kuresa) clear to the championship game last year. "This group of kids has learned to deal with some disappointment and I think that helps them out," he said. "They've gone through adversity and they're working — hard."

Britton Gunter returns for his senior season at quarterback, and his coach — and Dad — are counting on him to lead the way again this year.

"He did a good job last year for us," Coach/Dad Gunter said. "We're expecting good things out of him again."

The Bees other returning starters on offense include third-year starter Riley Reeves at guard, senior Spencer Lehr at center and sophomore Shad Watson at wide receiver.

The running back position has the most holes to fill, but Gunter says he's got some kids who are ready and able to step up and do the job. "That's where we lost everybody from last year, so we're starting over there," the Bees' coach said. "We've got some kids that can step in there, and we're gonna expect 'em to. "Last year, we had a big strong fullback that we could run trap or up the middle about any time we wanted and he banged. He was a big strong kid. This year, we're gonna rely on three or four kids to run the ball for us."

Sophomore Brecklin Gunter, senior Matt Richards and junior Kyler Allen are battling for the starting job at fullback.

"All three of them are really competing and working hard," Coach Gunter said, "and we'll probably use all three of them." Senior tailback Tyler Andersen "did a really good job this summer. He's come on for us and I expect good things out of him. He has a good vision of the field," his coach said.

Junior tailback Kasen Flinders is another guy who's see some carries out of the Bees' backfield.

Watson, though just a sophomore this season, started at wide receiver as a freshman last year.

"He's a good player, big and athletic, not super-fast but fast enough and athletic," Coach Gunter said.. The team's other top wide receiver is senior Martin Alcantar, with seniors Justin Hendricks and Taylor Wilding at tight end.

"Both of those guys will play, because they're both playing linebacker, too," Gunter said of his tight end tandem. "They're both athletic, good players."

On the offensive line, senior Jeremy Hunsaker saw plenty of action last year at tackle, whle the rest of the O-line finds five guys competing for the other three spots.